“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 seemed those words rang especially true as Frankel returned to the Bravo show that launched her into household-name status, The Real Housewives of New York (RHONY). After leaving the show in 2010 and focusing on her Bravo spin-off, Bethenny Ever After, which followed her through a wedding, giving birth and the rapid rise of her Skinnygirl Cocktails, Frankel rejoined the rambunctious cast of women from seasons seven to 11.
Skinnygirl Cocktails was one of the fastest-growing spirits brands in the U.S. and has expanded its lifestyle brand into food, wellness and other products marketed to women. Frankel herself is the bestselling author of books such as Skinnydipping and A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out Of Life, as well as cookbooks including Skinnygirl Cocktails: 100 Fun & Flirty Guilt-Free Recipes. Her latest book, Business is Personal: The Truth About What it Takes to Be Successful While Staying True to Yourself, launched in May 2022.
On the day of her book launch for I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To and the season seven premiere of RHONY, 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 [got] on plane for spring break,” Frankel tells SUCCESS. “This was a light day for me because it was also a travel day!”
Bethenny Frankel’s best advice
SUCCESS caught up with Bethenny Frankel before her book launch and season premiere for some advice:
on careers and 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.
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.
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.
Finish this sentence: The biggest mistake women make in their career is ______
BF: Assuming others are smarter than them.
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.
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!
On love and relationships…
The biggest mistake women make in relationships is ______
BF: Not going with their guts and making decisions out of fear.
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.
What is the one thing that makes you happy? (And does she have paws?)
BF: My [dog] Cookie and my peanut [daughter, Bryn].
And the best advice Bethenny Frankel has ever received…
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.”
This article was published in April 2015 and has been updated. Photo by Mathieu Young/Bravo
Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for SUCCESS.com. Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.