You know Drew and Jonathan Scott, aka the Property Brothers, thanks to the wildly popular HGTV show of the same name. And you know they’re established real estate experts, hence why they’re always talking property, home renovations and interior design. But what you might not know is their passion for branding and business—which led to a real estate investment company, a production company, four reality shows and celebrity status.
These twins are true entrepreneurs. They launched their first empire when they were just 7, selling thousands of decorative hangers to an American paraphernalia store in Japan. Then, shortly after high school, they started their real estate business to support their budding acting careers—and quickly flipped their first house for a $50,000 profit. While that continued to grow through college, the pair kept acting and creating short films. It was after lots of auditions, show ideas and a failed stint on a series called Realtor Idol that the story we know began.
In this sit-down, Drew and Jonathan Scott share the four keys to their success. Here is what we can learn from the talented hosts about success—whether it’s in showbiz or on the entrepreneurial stage:
1. Be proactive.
Drew’s best advice for making it big? Quit making excuses.
Jonathan adds, “No one is busting down your door to make you a success. You have to show people you exist. So many say, ‘I’ve tried everything to break into this business!’ and they’re sitting at the bar. When we were trying to break into the business, we were never sitting—we were always getting our name out there.”
You can never stop marketing yourself and your business.
2. Build a distinct brand.
To make it in any business, you have to stand out and make people remember you.
“What’s your hook? How are you different from anybody else out there?” Jonathan says. “We focus on our brand and our reach and show people that we’re not isolated to real estate.
“Make sure that you’re always growing. You can start growing your brand within your community, your city. With the Internet, you can get your brand out there, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money,” he continues.
3. Do the work.
Continuous effort is the key to unlocking your true potential. Drew’s personal mantra might explain just how hard the duo works.
“We grew up on a ranch, so you learn all about the value of a dollar. You don’t get an allowance to go out and shovel the stalls,” Jonathan says. “If you really want to reap the rewards of a successful career, be willing to put in the hard work.”
Drew adds, “In the early days, we were doing 100 hours a week—networking, producing our own content, doing anything we could.”
Now, the two rarely take a vacation and have to schedule in their personal time. Some may say that’s a bad thing, but Drew disagrees. “If you want to get the most out of your time, if you’re pursuing something that you’re passionate about, you have to have balance, so scheduling your personal time is part of a busy lifestyle.”
4. Believe it is possible.
Some people will say it’s a million-to-one chance that a person can make it as an actor or host (and probably an entrepreneur, too), but Jonathan says that’s not true. “Ninety-nine percent of those people aren’t treating themselves as a business. If you’re working hard, pushing your brand the way you should, you will succeed.”
He says that sometimes just one bad audition can seal the deal on a person’s career. “It’s not that you have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be in the right place at the right time and be prepared.”
Drew and Jonathan are living proof that if you work hard toward what you want to do, you will succeed. “If someone tells you that you can’t do it, go out and find five ways to do it,” Drew says. “We never gave up on anything we wanted to do.”
So how do they do so much, together, and not kill each other? They have a firm “no B.S.” policy, they leave emotions out of their decisions, and they air any issues right away so they can move on. They have a blast doing what they do, and they enjoy doing it with each other. “Which is important, because if I ever need an organ, he’d be a good donor!”
Related: The Property Brothers’ DIY Tips for Your Career