If you don’t already know Drew and Jonathan Scott, you probably at least recognise their matching handsome faces. After all, they have been everywhere in recent years, starring as HGTV’s (Read TLC in South Africa) – Property Brothers.
What you may not know is that prior to landing their highly successful television gig, the brothers built a successful real-estate and development company.
Their knack for branding and business, in addition to their passion for both real estate and entertainment led to the formation of their own production company, multiple reality shows and celebrity status.
It’s easy to see the entrepreneurial spirit in actors, musicians and comedians who have to make their own way and build their own brands. But these brothers were born true entrepreneurs. They started their first business at the age of 7, selling decorative hangers to an American paraphernalia store in Japan. They sold so many, in fact, they had to enlist family members as employees in their operation.
In college, they realised they would need a way to fund their acting careers, so they decided to try their hand and real estate – and flipped their first property for a R500 000 profit.
Another business was born. They kept building their real-estate business for years, all while auditioning, writing scripts and producing their own indie projects. After years of auditions, multiple show ideas and a failed stint on a series called Realtor Idol, the evolution of what is now their entertainment empire began.
Drew and Jonathan Scott took a break from shooting in New York City to share with me their four keys to success as both entrepreneurs and entertainers:
1. Don’t wait for opportunity
As is common with most successful people, the pair have no time for excuses. In fact, ditching excuses altogether is Drew’s biggest advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Jonathan added, “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.”
They emphasised the importance of creating your own opportunities, continually marketing yourself and growing your brand and business.
2. Don’t blend in
Standing out is something businesses need to do in a marketplace, just like it’s something entertainers must do in their industry. Jonathan insisted, a key to success is to make people remember you.
“What’s your hook? How are you different from anybody else out there?” he 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.”
Related: Top Tips on How to Flip a House
He explained that anyone can start growing their personal brand within their community or city:
“With the Internet, you can get your brand out there, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.”
3. Don’t get comfortable
Drew’s personal mantra explains just how hard the duo works – Continuous effort is the key to unlocking your true potential. They explained that they grew up on a ranch, which instilled in them the value of working for every single dollar.
“If you really want to reap the rewards of a successful career, be willing to put in the hard work,” Jonathan said.
Drew added that the early days included long hours creating their own content: “We were doing 100 hours a week – networking, producing our own content, doing anything we could.”
Part of working hard means preparing religiously. Jonathan reminded me that 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.”
The pair still hold to this mantra, rarely taking a vacation and having to work to schedule in any personal time. Some may say having to pencil in time for friends and family is 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. Don’t get discouraged
The odds for new businesses may be bleak, but the odds of becoming international entertainment superstars seem downright abysmal. Jonathan, however, says that that’s not true.
“Ninety-nine percent of [other actors] aren’t treating themselves as a business. If you’re working hard, pushing your brand the way you should, you will succeed.”
Drew and Jonathan say that they 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.”
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Image source: HGTV
How Kevin Hart Went From Being A Comedian To The Guy Who Owns Comedy
He’s one of America’s most famous funnymen, but here’s what most people don’t see: Kevin Hart is often in his office, running a far more ambitious comedy machine.
Considering how proud Kevin Hart is of the headquarters of his company, you’d think the place would be downright palatial. But it’s not. It’s simple, almost austere. It’s a series of small offices, a reception area and a conference room, and it takes up a floor of a nondescript building in downtown Encino, Calif., on Ventura Boulevard, across from a Korean BBQ joint.
The rooms are sparsely furnished. There are a lot of photos and posters of Hart, of course, but otherwise there is no expensive art, no designer tchotchkes on the credenzas, no tasteful floor coverings that could fund a motion picture production.
No, the thing about this office that fills Kevin Hart with such pride isn’t its appearance. It’s the fact that it’s still his.
Back in 2009, when he took out a two-year lease on just a small portion of the space to house his startup, HartBeat Productions, Hart was worried he wasn’t going to be able to afford it. This was before his comedy specials became some of the highest-grossing of all time. Before his social media profile grew to near record-setting proportions. Before Kevin Hart Day was declared in Philadelphia. Before he became one of the biggest stars on Earth.
“When I first got here,” he says, “and this is before the money was where it is now, this was the dream. Every day I get to see this and I get to go, ‘Oh my God, how am I going to do it, man? Shit. I done took out the two-year goddamn lease on this place!’ ’”
But he loved the “aspirational” view from what is still his personal office, and he had a plan, drawn from a hard-earned epiphany. Historically, comedians and actors, even very successful ones, are simply cogs in a very large machine.
For all the fame, and the money and the glamour, they are essentially powerless against the whims of that machine. They are the product. They do their best, work their hardest, earn what they can and at the end of the day, they’re left with fading fame and whatever money they were able to bank along the way.
Hart saw this state of affairs early in his stand-up comedy career and decided to try something different. Something risky. The idea was this: Create something lasting. Something that will go on when you’re done. Don’t just show up, do your best and then go away.
Don’t make money mostly for other people. Own what you do. Perfect your craft, of course, but in so doing, create a sustainable, revenue-generating enterprise that can run profitably long after the world has had enough of seeing your face and hearing your jokes.
In short, the idea Kevin Hart had, as he stood nervously in that office in 2009, was this: Don’t be the cog. Be the machine.
And so he is.
Can Being Deceptive Help You Build Your Business? It Worked For These 5 Entrepreneurs
We’ve all told little white lies. But what about the big ones? What if telling them would bring your business success?
We all commit little acts of deception, like saying we got stuck in traffic when we were really late to the meeting because we wanted to watch the last five minutes of a favourite TV show. Little white lies? I’ve told them. You’ve told them.
But what about big lies, the kind truly lacking in integrity – like misrepresenting your sales to a prospective investor?
Obviously, there are often severe consequences to lying. Depending on the context, you could lose the trust of a peer, break a professional relationship or even face legal action. Yet, despite these consequences, lying is more common in the entrepreneurial world than you might think.
Just take as an example these five entrepreneurs, who might not be as well known or successful as they are if it weren’t for some clever acts of deception:
Three Habits That Underpin Entrepreneurial Success
Here are three powerful habits that will help you stay focused, define your entrepreneurial attitude and take your business from zero to hero.
Successful people and businesses don’t all share the same traits and commitments. Yes they all have managed to break barriers and achieve impressive goals. They’re the leaders, the movers, the shakers and the industry creators. However, not all entrepreneurs are created equal and their recipes for success can differ wildly.
Some swear by a three-hour run every morning followed by a nice salad and the bustle of busy work life. Others need an incredibly early start so they can spend time with their emails and focus on their business. Every entrepreneur has their own secret tricks that keep them on the straight and successful narrow, but most share a few simple habits that are guaranteed to make a difference.
Here are three habits that will help you become better at business and at leading others towards long-term success:
1. Always be ready to change your assumptions
Many people are unable to change the assumptions they have about their business and its future as it evolves. No business model should be locked in cement and rigidly upheld, it will need to adapt and adjust as it grows and customer needs change. As an entrepreneur you need to understand this concept and be prepared to evolve and change in new directions and markets.
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This also ties into failure. Do you understand why you failed at something? Are you aware that perhaps your business model is changing? Can you learn from these experiences? Can you adjust your business model, get better research, refine your ideas? If you are ready to take positive value out of these moments and experiences, then you are an agile and inspired entrepreneur.
2. There’s no off switch
Passion and commitment are absolutely key to the success of your business and your own personal growth. You can’t switch off or walk away or just take a sick day because you feel like it, not if you want to stand as an example to your employees or if you want to build a brilliant business.
It may sound trite and tired, but a work ethic is the single most important habit to have as an entrepreneur. You need to always hold yourself to the highest standards, commit to ethical practice and work harder than anyone else.
3. Take it personally
This doesn’t mean gentle sobs in your office when Susan from accounts ridicules your maths skills. If you take your business personally, then you are wrapping the skills learned in points 1 and 2 above into one cohesive whole – you are embedding your passion into every crevice of your company. Care about what you do, be passionate about what it stands for, and be prepared to fight for its life. The route from zero to billion-dollar business isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.
Remember, the idea is only 1%. Sweat, work, commitment and focus are the other 99% of the success equation.
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