“Income Property” host Scott McGillivray (HGTV) “Income Property” host Scott McGillivray (HGTV)

When Scott McGillivray was 21, he used student loan cash to buy a rental house; today, he has bought more than 100 income properties in Canada and the U.S. and hosts Income Property on HGTV.

Earlier this year, McGillivray told Courtney Sheawhat goes into building a rock-solid personal brand, one plaid shirt at a time. Here are four things you can learn from their conversation, which you can read in full here.

On advice

“We’re 10 years into the show and are just figuring out the branding business model. When I first started doing the show, there were so many people telling me what to do. And every year it was the opposite of the year before: too many jokes, not enough jokes, too serious, not serious enough, not enough plaid, too much plaid.”

On authenticity

“[W]hat does ‘authentic’ really mean? Just be yourself and you’ll be automatically successful? Well, no. You have to be authentic, but you also have to be passionate. I am off-the-hook passionate about real estate. I live and breathe it; I’ve got 10 renovations on the go at any given time. Authenticity [paired with] passion really is the winning combo.”

On saying “no”

“I get a lot of messages on social media from people saying, “Hey, I’ve got a project for you,” or asking me to endorse something. Some of the things are just way too off-brand. I got approached by a breath mint company that thought it would be funny if I had bad breath [in ads]. How is that good for me?”

For the rest of Shea’s conversation with McGillivray, including being dubbed #McGillibabe by female superfans and named one of People’s Sexiest Man Alive, click here.

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