While we are used to seeing happy endings coming from everything the Property Brothers touch, it wasn’t always the case in their lives off screen.
The 39-year-old brothers open up in their new tell-all book, It Takes Two: Our Story about their road to fame and the bumps along the way. The book released in early September has already made it onto the New York Times bestseller list.
“We wanted this to be an honest, unedited, unadulterated look at what our lives are like,” he said. “I think fans would feel like something was missing if we edited anything out. It was important for us to make it whole.”
The main lesson that Jonathan wants people to take away from the book is: “I think it’s important for people to realize that failure is part of success.”
That’s why it was so important that they we honest in their writings.
“We didn’t want to cut anything out of the book,” Jonathan says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “We talk about all the highs and all the lows.”
Before the success of their popular TV show Property Brothers, the twins learned tough financial lessons, where Jonathan had to file for bankruptcy and Drew racked up $100K in debt.
“We had been doing real estate for some time, but I missed my passion, acting,” Drew explains. “I went to Vancouver to pursue that, and I was taking acting courses, networking and doing all the things I had to do to make sure that I was being seen.”
After only a year, he realized he was now thousands of dollars in debt.
“In the end, that experience was really important because it created the buzz for our first auditions,” he says, “which got us on TV and made it worth it.”
Meanwhile Jonathan was pursing his dream of becoming a magician, until his collection of props and equipment was stolen, effectively putting him out of business.
“It really turned out to be a game-changer for us, because we realized how any reckless decision you make can leave you vulnerable,” he says. “Now we’ve put due diligence in and strengthened our financial situation.”
It wasn’t just their bank accounts that were taking a hit in the early days, they were striking out in love, which meant a divorce for one of the brothers.