Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and the fact that Bethenny Frankel is a boss b*tch.” OK, I may have slightly tweaked the last part of that famous quote, but I have no doubt that if Franklin was around today, he would have said the same. If you follow along with the Fish blog, you already know that we’re all die-hard fans of everything Bravo, and the Real Housewives of NYC is a top-tier obsession. If you watch the show from season one, you get more than just the typical bored-housewives-fighting-at-dinner-parties drama – the show also chronicles Bethenny’s journey from a struggling chef who sold muffins in a grocery store to the founder of a true business empire. During her time on the show, Frankel created Skinnygirl Cocktails, which she sold to Beam Global for a reported $100 million in 2011.
Before becoming a reality TV star and one of the most beloved ’bravolebrities,’ Bethenny worked as a chef. And before that, she sold shawls and assisted celebrities. She has said she didn’t know what she wanted to do in life until her late 30s, around the same time she was cast in the reality franchise’s New York show (which should give all of us still struggling to find their place in the world a huge dose of hope).
Lucky for us, Bethenny has offered a ton of great business advice in various interviews, and lucky for you, I’ve compiled some of her best tips for success. If you’re in need of inspiration, look no further.
- Willingness to do a job. Bethenny has said this is the biggest factor that makes or breaks success. “Do the job. Just do the job. Do whatever job it is,” she said. “Because I’ve done every single job — you never know when it’s going to help you and you get to the next job.”
- Keep trying to find your passion. As noted in this Business Insider article, Bethenny says “I would say to be on the road, start the journey, and get dirty, and clean yourself off, and take another path,” she said. “Get locked out, and find a way to climb in another way. You’ve got to get on the road and figure out what it is that you want to do, what value you add, what clicks, what doesn’t.”
- Always evolve. It’s a matter of always evolving and learning from both failures and successes rather than dwelling on either. “You can’t be stuck in your plan,” Bethenny said. “You can’t be stuck in your story. You can’t be stuck in how good you think your idea is, because everybody will tell you what you want to hear.”
- Never consider yourself above a task. “Those people are the people who are successful, not the people that are sitting there making $24,000 a year, complaining that they shouldn’t be making coffee, that they shouldn’t be doing this, they didn’t go to school for this. It’s called tough s—. Tough s—.”
- Do your homework, but don’t overthink things. Bethenny says in this TIME article, “The most important thing you need is a plan for your money. You can’t just keep spending. You have to know whether something’s worth the money, and trust me—things are going to cost much more than you imagined. So prepare a business plan up front to keep you on track. That said, you hear about so many big companies that have focus groups and ad teams and all this stuff, and then they come out with a one calorie soda or something that turns out to be the biggest bomb. You can overthink things and over-research things but at a certain point you just have to get going.”
- Be transparent with your audience. She also said, “Anything can happen with any product—your amazing yoga pants might be totally sheer, or people might get sick from a bad batch of spinach at your restaurant. If you make a mistake, you have to own it and explain it. This is especially crucial for me, since my name and my face are so attached to my business. I’m in an unusual situation because people want me to promote everything with Skinnygirl—to be the face and talent—but also to be the CEO of the company, running the company and knowing every flavor and coming up with new ideas. As a business owner, mistakes come back to you, so you have to be honest about them and take responsibility.”