I hope everyone is doing well today. It’s time for the next installment of the Side Hustle Series. This month I had the chance to interview Tyler Philbrick. He is a 28-year-old entrepreneur striving to live the life of his dreams. He has gone from working a 9 to 5 to now working for himself and being completely location independent.
How did you come up with the idea of I am the Future Me?
I was an avid reader of a ton of different personal finance blogs and one of them really spoke to me. Jason Fieber, then of dividendmantra.com, wrote an article about how he is “already financially independent”.
It would be another 3 years till he reached financial independence, but to him, he was already there because he knew that the actions he did today would create that future self he wanted. He focused not on his needs or wants today but on what he wanted in the future.
I loved that concept. I had so many times said I would get my debt paid off with “my next raise”. Or that I would finally start getting in shape “next week”. My future self was always going to do those amazing things I wanted to do.
But, I had never done them. I was unhealthy, I had no money, my credit cards were maxed out all the time, and I worked at a job I hated. So, I realized that if I don’t start making changes I could never accomplish those things that I wanted.
Thus, I Am The Future Me was born to document my journey of being nowhere I wanted to be, to the life of my dreams.
What do you discuss on your site?
I discuss everything lifestyle related. I mainly focus on finances, business, and health. I really think that those things are the points everyone needs to focus on in life.
I used to share income reports, and still have all the ones ever posted available, to show how I was accomplishing my goals. I started so many side hustles and projects I can’t even remember them all.
I even recently started a podcast where I not only discuss the things I’ve done in my life, but I bring on people who have done even more than I have and find out how others can do the same thing they do.
What are some of the side hustles that you’ve done?
I started on Infobarrel and HubSpot, and honestly, I have no idea if either of those are still around. Basically, you would write an article and get a share of the ad revenue generated because of that article.
I then started driving for Lyft which at that point was my most successful side hustle. I would easily make a few hundred dollars extra a weekend working only a few hours.
Later I started my own site, found some freelance clients as well as started my Amazon FBA business.
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Now, though I have many projects the two revenue side hustles I have are my freelancing and Amazon FBA.
How long have you been selling on Amazon?
I started selling on Amazon December of 2015, but really, I didn’t take it seriously until mid-2016. During this time, I was doing so many things to see what would work and Amazon hadn’t proved itself profitable to me.
It wasn’t until much later than I realized the potential it had, and exactly the best practices to make the most money for the least amount of work.
What type of items do you sell?
Anything I can.
I have sold cell phones, bobbleheads, shoes, earrings, headphones, phone cases, speakers, and far more. To me, as an Amazon seller you find your niches of course, but you’re always looking to make money. So, if you know nothing about popular toys, you still look at the toys to see if you can find something to sell.
How many items do you currently have listed?
Checking right this second, I have 25 different items for sale at Amazon. I also have around another 20 at my house nearly ready to go.
It’s not completely crazy for me to send between 50 to 100 different items each week with multiples of each item.
What do you call a successful month?
Making a profit.
I could tell you that I want to make a certain amount of money each month for me to be happy and consider it a success. Truth is when I’m in the black I consider it a success.
I have averaged about $1,000 in profit each month this year so far, and it has been going up each month. I expect to make in profit from July to December around $30,000.
Is there anything that you would have done differently?
I’m happy that I learned how to run an Amazon FBA business, I simply wish that I had done more learning before starting.
I started in December, arguably the most profitable month of the year, and made no money. After having several successful Decembers, I now realize how much I was doing wrong that first month of this business.
I eventually bought courses to teach me, but only after learning the hard way for 6 months. I recommend everyone do more learning, whether that’s buying a course or just reading the free information available.
What are some tips for newbies that are selling on Amazon?
Check the rank.
If I could go back in time and teach myself, one thing it would be to learn what ranks are when it comes to Amazon and how they work.
The rank is everything. If the rank isn’t good enough then you can’t make any money because the item will never sell.
The problem is though everyone has different opinions on what they consider good ranks. What may be good for me, may be terrible for you. As the business grows you’re willing to take more risk, but starting out get the lowest ranked items for the best price possible.
How can people get in contact with you?
They can come to my site iamthefutureme.com, or follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/tjphilbrook.
Previous Side Hustle Series Interviews