Episode 4 – Tyler Philbrook Quit His Job to Run His Own Business While in Debt

January 1, 2018

Quick Recap:

  • How Tyler came up with the name I Am The Future Me for his blog
  • Taking the leap to self-employment when you have debt
  • What is Amazon FBA
  • Evil vs Awesome: Gym Memberships
  • Where should someone start with Amazon FBA​​​
  • Tyler will be debt free in 6 months​​​​
  • There are seasons to Amazon FBA
  • Evil vs Awesome: Professor Snape


The Show:

On today’s episode, I am thrilled to have someone who, through freelancing and Amazon, was able to leave his 9 to 5 job and make a full-time income. In addition, now he is on track to be debt free in 6 months! 

Today's guest is Tyler Philbrook from I Am The Future Me.

How Tyler Came Up with The Name for His Blog

For many years, Tyler would say that once this happens, then I'll take care of that. Pay off the debt, lose the weight etc. 

Finally, he decided that it cant wait, that he was his future self and was going to be the one to get things done. ​​​​

How a Side Hustle Turned Into a Business

In June of 2015, Tyler started listening to podcasts to learn about how he could make some extra money on the side. He had been feeling a lack of loyalty at work and realized he needed to figure a way out.


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So instead of investing in himself to be better at his job, he decided to better himself through his own company.

Finding the right side hustle took time, he tried a failed website, did some ride share driving, and eventually landed on Amazon FBA. Which he eventually realized could be a full-time job. 

Tyler ended up side hustling, working 80 hour weeks for two years before he was able to leave his job and become self-employed full-time. 

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Evil vs Awesome: Gym Memberships


  • If you do not use it
  • Pizza days


  • Better equipment at the gym than at home
  • Workout equipment at home takes up a lot of space
  • Can use guest passes to really get a feel for the gym before signing up
  • Works best with an accountability partner

Overall: Awesome

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Taking the Leap to Self-Employment When in Debt

The debt was certainly a concern when Tyler quit his job to work for himself.  Especially since, at the time he quit the side hustle turned full-time job it wasn't bringing in enough to cover all his expenses. 

However, before he took the leap, Tyler and his wife were smart to save a year's worth of expenses to ensure he could make a real go of running his own business. 

Ultimately the decision to leave his full-time job was an emotional one. Working 80 hours a week was taking a toll on his health and his relationships, his wife said he needed to decide between his job and his side hustle because continuing to do both wasn't worth it. 

Tyler says that if you're considering leaving your job, make sure you know your reason for wanting to work for yourself. Find out what is most important and don't leave security without a plan. 

What is Amazon FBA

FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon. It means that Tyler buys products and sends them into Amazon. Amazon then handles the selling and shipping of the products as well as any customer service issues. 

There are a few different ways to get merchandise, via retail or online.

Basically the goal is to find items that are being sold for less than what they are sold for on Amazon. You can search for them in clearance sections or during holiday sales.

Tyler first learned about selling through Amazon FBA from Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income Podcast (episode #99). He quickly realized that there is a lot that goes into selling via Amazon FBA. 

Tyler's first foray into buying items to sell wasn't with cash but by using his Walgreen's rewards points to buy some toys to send into Amazon. 

While those toys didn't sell because their rank was so low on Amazon, it was a low barrier to try out Amazon FBA. 

Ultimately, Tyler decided to stop focusing on debt and start focusing on growing his business. 

He spent a lot of time learning, first through trial and error, and finally by reinvesting his profits in ebooks and eventually a course to help hime learn how best to sell on Amazon FBA. Tyler says that he wished he had invested in learning more sooner, "it would have made it much easier and would have helped him to avoid mistakes he made."

Where Should Someone start with Amazon FBA?

First, Tyler wants to make sure you realize that you don't make money overnight. At this point, Tyler can now expect a return in about three weeks.

Second, focus on the simple things first. Toys, kitchen and home, and electronics. While some do have success with books, Tyler hasn't. 

Lastly, you can sell both new and used items. Though Tyler only focuses on selling new items. 

How Tyler is Going to Be Debt Free in 6 Months

Tyler's debt currently stands at about $30,000. But after less than a year going at it full-time his business now makes enough to cover personal expenses, business expenses, and money to keep the business growing. 

Based on his earnings, Tyler Philbrook estimates he will be debt free by June 2018. This includes taking into account that there are seasons to Amazon FBA. 

Overall, Tyler has seen a 23% profit, but he notes that he didn't do it alone. He had help and support throughout his journey to self-employment. 

If you're looking to make a similar leap, he suggest not looking at how many hours you will work, but how many hours you are willing to sacrifice. If you are focused with your time, you can get a lot done. So be sure to have a plan for your time. 

Now instead of 80 hour weeks Tyler works 30-50 hours a week and has the ability to take a day off when he feels like it.

Evil vs Awesome: Professor Snape

Unfortunately, Tyler knows nothing about Harry Potter and thus, Professor Snape. He is on the other hand a trekie, so that's cool. 

Learn more about Tyler Philbrook on his site I Am the Future Me and follow him on Twitter  and Facebook!

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Tyler Philbrook Quit His Job to Run His Own Business While in Debt | Amazon FBA | Side hustle | earn more money
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