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Bethenny Frankel: The things that are really challenging will define you

By Debra Wallace

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the things that are really challenging will define you, and that you think of it as a marathon or like golf. And that you’re getting through these different incredible hurdles and gauntlets. It’s hard to say to people whose lives have been destroyed and who are at food banks. I’m not belittling that by any means. But people who can keep their head above water and try to be confident, this is the time when you plant seeds that later will grow. Because this is a time when there’s a lot of change and shift, and you can create real positives out of negative experiences. Meaning surviving something is really valuable. We’re shocked at the things we can overcome.

I’ve overcome some pretty crazy things in my personal life and that was my book and my concept of A Place of Yes is about, rather I would be in a good mood. But it’s about grace under pressure, and really when the chips are down, how you’re holding the steering wheel really tight and just knowing what decisions to make. I’m good in a crisis. That’s why I’m good at crisis relief.


When Bethenny Frankel came up with the idea for Skinnygirl cocktails she went from being a popular reality TV star to a successful entrepreneur who continues to give a hand up to others embarking on their own business dreams.

In 2008, a year after Frankel began starring on Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York, she created a pre-packaged Margarita, that led to her founding the Skinnygirl Cocktail Line.

Her company went on to create numerous products such as candy, deli meat, sweeteners, popcorn, salad dressing, shapewear, and most recently, jeans and other apparel. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Frankel is a best-selling author, philanthropist, and just launched her BStrong initiative has helped people in need ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Texas Blackouts.

This extremely busy working mom of a 10-year-old daughter, Bryn, will star in an upcoming HBO Max reality competition series entitled The Big Shot with Bethenny, which premieres at the end of April, that she will produce alongside Mark Burnett. She says that the series is about “aspiring business moguls who compete for a job” on her executive team.

Now, she is teaming up with Scotch™ Brand to help launch the Ship It Forward Small Business Grant to provide small business owners with the opportunity to receive much-needed support to ensure their businesses are set up for success during these challenging times.

To help amplify this initiative, Frankel has agreed to provide counsel and inspiration directly to small business owners. Through April 16 those who are interested can go to ScotchBrand.com/ShipItForward to nominate a deserving small business owner — or nominate themself — for the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant, ScotchTM Brand packaging solutions, and a one-on-one business coaching session with Frankel.

“This is about supporting businesses and really giving them what they need to succeed because a success and a failure could be defined by one problem,” Frankel explains to Medium’s Authority Magazine.

“The difference between succeeding and failing could be one unfortunate circumstance, and this pandemic has been a massive unfortunate circumstance,” she says. “People used to have a bad day or a bad month in business. Now, this has been a bad year which is not great; that’s crazy.


Why this was a good fit for you to team up with Scotch Brand?

Bethenny Frankel: It’s such a good fit for me, because I’m so efficient and organized, and I like when things go smoothly with shipping and receiving. As a result of the pandemic, I think that people have really had to shift in the way they do business and do more things for themselves.

They have had to take control over things that maybe other people were doing or a different infrastructure within their business. And although I am a lucrative business, I’m still running a small business. So, I understand how important it is for things to have those efficiencies, and Scotch is all about that.

This new program, which is all about helping small businesses, is amazing. My initiative has supported several small businesses with microgrants since the beginning of the pandemic.

What else can you share about this?

Bethenny Frankel: The Scotch program supports small businesses which make us feel good. It’s about nominating small businesses so that they can receive financial support, and shipping supplies, and other things that make their business more efficient and viable to give them a chance to thrive and survive.

Talk about the importance of mentoring. Since you have a successful business and you’ve “made it” how does that help to give back to other female entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs in general?

Bethenny Frankel: Yes, I’ve been there. I understand what it’s like to struggle and to feel like you might fail, or to not know whether or not to keep going. I think it’s important, to be honest with people about business. Because business is really challenging and it takes a lot of time, passion, drive, sacrifice, organization, and it doesn’t always go that well. And now it’s been a crazy, crazy time, and people have really suffered serious challenges and made them really question whether to keep going.

You have been quite formidable with the other sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank — everyone sees that you do not back down.

Bethenny Frankel: I hadn’t really watched it a ton. I obviously know the show and I watched it in the beginning, but I haven’t been a religious watcher. So, a lot of people commented on the fact that I, exactly what you just said, didn’t really take crap from anybody. It wasn’t for the sake of it, it’s just kind of who I am. Meaning I brought something different to the table. Some of them are geniuses in their own right, but I bring something different. They didn’t bring me to be a duplication of everyone else. So, I brought a different point of view, a different skill set. I’m a marketer. I’m an excellent marketer and I understand what’s viable, and so I think that it’s brought something different.

Please tell me about your new show, your HBO Max show The Big Shot with Bethenny Frankel?

Bethenny Frankel: The show is about finding my second in command, which is no easy task. It’s a modern version of The Apprentice. Meaning it’s based on authenticity, so it’s not integrations and brands that I just decided to integrate into the show. It’s my real brand. It’s my real shapewear brand. It’s my real salad dressing brand. My real popcorn, supplements, etcetera brand. So, for that reason, it makes it very authentic. There are many unexpected twists and turns also based on what’s really going on. It’s not as overly structured and formatted. I’d say it’s a little bit like The Devil Wears Prada meets The Apprentice meets my own reality show.

Sounds good.

Bethenny Frankel: Mark Burnett, the president of MGM, emailed me and said there have only ever been 15 business competition shows, and 14 have failed besides The Apprentice, and he said this one will be a success and that HBO MAX feels certain about it. So, that’s super exciting.

What is the best part of becoming successful?

Bethenny Frankel: The best part of becoming successful is proving memorable experiences for your children. Meaning, just to be able to go to the fly museum or the ice cream museum, or to take her with me to travel and turn a speaking engagement into an Orlando Disney experience. Just the freedom of providing these amazing experiences is so invaluable. Taking her to exotic places like Piggy Island in the Exumas is one of the interesting things.

What life lessons do you want your daughter to get based on your experience and philosophy?

Bethenny Frankel: She’s a passionate person. Yeah, by the way of the people I’ve met, meaning people like Peter Tunney, who I just took her to Miami for this incredible collab art experience. And I did the same thing with Romero Britto. These were people that I met and I asked to do this. It is important to me that she’s free and she nurtures her talent, and that she values being honest, and upfront, and nice. I just give her a lot of life lessons about interaction and people. And she’ll be strong because I’m strong. So, she’s different than me in that she’s very artistic and more of a free spirit, but she’ll definitely be strong.

What advice do you have for people who are struggling in business, and in life especially, after a year or more of the pandemic, when times get tough?

Bethenny Frankel: That the things that are really challenging will define you, and that you think of it as a marathon or like golf. And that you’re getting through these different incredible hurdles and gauntlets. It’s hard to say to people whose lives have been destroyed and who are at food banks. I’m not belittling that by any means. But people who can keep their head above water and try to be confident, this is the time when you plant seeds that later will grow. Because this is a time when there’s a lot of change and shift, and you can create real positives out of negative experiences. Meaning surviving something is really valuable. We’re shocked at the things we can overcome.

I’ve overcome some pretty crazy things in my personal life and that was my book and my concept of A Place of Yes is about, rather I would be in a good mood. But it’s about grace under pressure, and really when the chips are down, how you’re holding the steering wheel really tight and just knowing what decisions to make. I’m good in a crisis. That’s why I’m good at crisis relief.

Bethenny Frankel at work

How do you see yourself?

Bethenny Frankel: Aside from motherhood, what truly defines me as a person is being a driven, passionate, and hard-working woman determined to make the impossible possible. My mantra is to come from a place of ‘yes’ and to find and create the solution. I am an executor of visions, and I share and impart that information to those who work with me.

What else do you want to accomplish that you haven’t done so far?

Bethenny Frankel: I love doing my podcast, Just B with Bethenny. I just adore it. So, I think just being really successful at that. It seems like I already am successful at it, but really building a brand in that. I’m excited about the new show because it will prove that being authentic can definitely be a good tactic in the television business. I see so much filtering and superficiality right now, and I’ve always thought that just showing yourself work and all, and being authentic and honest about what’s going on is a great way to be in entertainment. So that would be great.

I’m also writing another book called Bethenny-isms because a lot of people say that they like my isms. So, I’m excited about that. But I don’t really go through life with these big goals anymore, it’s just like I like this, this is a great idea, let’s do this, and then let’s execute it. So, people in small businesses, if you do it at all, do it well. Otherwise, just don’t do it. So that’s how I am.

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