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Fredrik Eklund is a New York-based real estate broker and one of the stars of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing New York. He is the author of a best-selling book The[…]

Authenticity is hugely important when building your own brand. Don’t aspire to be something you’re not. Brand “you.” New York real estate mogul Fredrik Eklund, star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York, shares how he presents a memorable image to others while simultaneously keeping it real.

Fredrik Eklund: Success can be so many different things for different people, right. In my world, for the longest time, success was living in New York and doing what I love, which was being part, being one with New York City. Instead of being the guy that I am now — colorful and a bit eccentric and crazy, high-kicking Fredrik; you know, that kind of bubbly personality we all have when we’re with our best friends or family — I locked myself up and I tried to copy other big successful real estate agents instead of being me. The more I’m me, the more I put my guard down, the more successful I’ve become.

What you do to feel successful, to act so you authentically feel successful I think you have to present yourself in an honest way to the world. And I know a lot of people that are successful on the outside, but maybe I question how it feels because they might not be true to themselves. You shouldn’t wear a suit because you’re supposed to. I mean enter the conference room, the really conservative environment with — in my case — big developers and come in in a T-shirt and really say that I’m wearing a T-shirt, you know. Brand that.

Whatever you’re wearing professionally, own it and sell it.  I have a trademark which is my high kick and I’ve been doing it since I was four years old and I think that’s the key when you talk about trademark because I think everybody should have a trademark. But it needs to be authentic to you. It can’t just be a gimmick that you make up. I mean I heard that Karate Kid thinks that I stole it from them, but, in fact, they stole it from me because at four years old I was doing that before Karate Kid movie came around. So I’m still waiting for my royalties from them.

You know I left Sweden 13 years ago and I left everybody that I love — my friends and family behind to become successful in New York. Yes, real estate and being successful in real estate at work is important to me. But also equally important to create a family. So I’m going to be a father soon and that is a different kind of success.