You have to make an exit to make an entrance. That’s the advice Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels once gave entrepreneur and reality television star Bethenny Frankel.
It seems those words ring especially true as Frankel returns to the Bravo TV show that launched her into household name status, The Real Housewives of New York. After leaving the show in 2010 for two Bravo spin-offs that followed her through a wedding, giving birth, a divorce and the rapid rise of her Skinnygirl Cocktails, Frankel will rejoin the rambunctious cast of eight women for the season premiere airing tonight.
Skinnygirl Cocktails is one of the fastest-growing spirits brands in the U.S. and has expanded its brand into food, wellness, and lifestyle products marketed to women. She is the bestselling author of Skinnydipping and A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out Of Life, as well as three popular diet and cookbooks. Her latest book, I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To, launches today.
On this day, Frankel’s schedule started off with getting hair and makeup done for an on-camera interview, followed by a phone interview.
“Then I watched a screener of Housewives, wrote an article, tested some new baked goods, had a meeting with my staff, registered some intellectual property for products, fleshed out a few TV projects that I will be producing, picked up my daughter from school and then get on plane for spring break,” Frankel tells SUCCESS. “This was a light day for me because it was also a travel day!”
SUCCESS caught up with Frankel before her book launch and the season premiere of The Real Housewives of New York:
SUCCESS: I see on Twitter you wrote, “I've decided I’m going to be a personality coach to teach people to be tougher.” What’s your first lesson?
Bethenny Frankel: “Women need to keep their eye on the prize, look forward and be better than the men instead of whining about the glass ceiling and all that [men] get that we don't.
I tell people to go with their guts and that execution, organization and delegation is the key to good business.
By the way, that tough thing was a joke as a reaction to a false press report that I hired a personality coach to soften me.”
SUCCESS: Do you think toughness is the antidote to negative chatter from others?
BF: “We need to not take ourselves too seriously and just brush off the negativity. Don't buy into everyone loving you or hating you. Love yourself.”
SUCCESS: Career advice from your blog: “Ignore the noise of your own self-criticism.” So, which is tougher to ignore–the mean things we say to ourselves or the mean things others say to or about us?
BF: By far we are our own worst enemies, at least for me. I beat myself up way worse than anyone else.
SUCCESS: Finish this sentence: The biggest mistake women make in their career is ______
BF: “Assuming others are smarter than them.”
SUCCESS: The biggest mistake women make in relationships is ______
BF: “Not going with their guts and making decisions out of fear.”
SUCCESS: Explain how women can avoid making that biggest relationship mistake.
BF: “Your gut is a reliable barometer of everything you do, and I don’t know why people don’t pay more attention to it. Your gut will always tell you the truth.”
SUCCESS: As the entrepreneur behind the successful Skinnygirl franchise, you are called to do a little bit of everything. What are you best at?
BF: “I’m best at writing, being the Greek chorus, coming up with ideas and executing them, and creative marketing. My partners call me an idea hamster.”
SUCCESS: What are you worst at?
BF: “Reading contracts, focusing on the small print, spreadsheets and anything technological. For example, I have no apps on my phone!”
SUCCESS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
BF: “Ellen DeGeneres gave me two great pieces of advice. The first one is: ‘Don't buy into how much people love you or hate you’ and the second one is ‘You will keep making the same mistake until you learn the lesson.’”
SUCCESS: What is the one thing that makes you happy? (And does she have paws?)
BF: “My [dog] Cookie and my peanut [daughter, Bryn].”