To see Tyler Whitman’s jubilant personality on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” or in his own highly entertaining social media videos, you might suspect his life has been one big joyride.

In reality, it’s been anything but.

A journey full of…

…Crippling insecurity.

…Deep depression.

…Financial struggles.

…And a major health issue that might have killed him if he hadn’t reversed course.

But here’s the good news: That’s all behind him, and he knows he’s a stronger person today because of it.

So how did he get past it all and succeed?

Keep reading to find out. His story is quite the inspiration.

Maybe the Ultimate ‘Fish Out of Water’?

Tyler grew up in the South as a classic “fish out of water” story. He never felt like he fit in, and from an early age, he set his sights on becoming a “big city boy.”

During his college years, he grappled with depression and wasn’t sure what to do with his life.

His mom knew he always wanted to move to New York, so she suggested he take a semester off and go try it.

One of Tyler’s friends was headed to NYU, so Tyler tagged along and did what he could to make a go of it in the Big Apple. He waited tables at Planet Hollywood in Times Square, but his meager income couldn’t even cover his rent, and he got evicted from his first apartment.

In hindsight, this development kicked into place the first puzzle piece of Tyler’s professional journey, because next he moved in with a guy off Craigslist who was a real estate agent. It was Tyler’s first exposure to the industry, and his roommate urged him to consider it as a career.

“What else am I going to do with my life?” Tyler thought to himself. “I was such a mess financially. I was only 20 or 21 at the time, but it felt like a big deal back then.”

First Steps in Real Estate

Tyler earned his real estate license in 2006, but it was no catapult to success.

“Rentals in New York City are a big business if you’re good at it, but I wasn’t. I made no money,” he recalls.

So Tyler moved yet again, this time literally into a friend’s walk-in closet where he slept on a futon.

“It was dark times in Tylerville,” he quips.

Throughout these early professional challenges, Tyler’s weight was becoming more and more of an issue. He’d fluctuated between 240-280 pounds throughout his 20s and felt embarrassed to be a real estate agent, especially in image-conscious New York City.

He switched gears professionally, taking a behind-the-scenes office manager role, shying away from presenting himself on the front lines with customers.

Eventually, Tyler began to build a rental niche around people attending Ivy League schools, and finally began to claw his way out of the financial hole he’d dug himself.

While his professional career signaled promise, his weight only grew more troubling. Tyler was tipping the scales at nearly 400 pounds.