Have you ever heard about Elance, oDesk or Freelancer? Toptal is a very similar, yet entirely different network of developers.
How so you may ask?
Well first of all, not everyone can be a part of it. You can apply, but to actually be accepted you have to go through the interviewing process. It may not be too difficult, if you are an experienced programmer (Beat My Code type of challenges), but it will certainly take some time to complete (especially when you are developing a full solution for the platform you are applying for near the end).
So why all the hussle? Why should you take the time to review the algorithms you learned in your student days? Why should you develop a full app from scratch just to demonstrate the skills you've already proven in your past projects?
The answers is very simple. To prove to Toptal that you are an expert in your field (or have the potential to be one). And you know what comes with great skills? Great clients and big paycheck. But let's leave the paycheck for a moment, since that's not why I joined Toptal 6 months ago. Money should be sufficient so it's never a problem, but there are other things that motive us. Mastery is one of them. As people we greatly value mastery and that's why Toptal is a great choice.
The clients willing to find you and pay for you on Toptal are the ones you want to work for and the projects you are working on give you a sense of purpose. There is a fine difference between debugging and maintaining a decade old code and building against the newest SDK and there is a great sense of accomplishment when you see your product being widely used and praised. All of the clients that I've worked for were tech savvy, extremely smart people willing to invest into the next big thing. Trying out new things is not recommended, it is required. And since Toptal requires just a minimal initial bureaucratic overhead (so you receive your payment right) you always stay focused on what matters the most, your code.
If this sounds reasonable to you, why not give Toptal a try?