Skimm’d from the Couch: Bethenny Frankel | theSkimm

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Bethenny Frankel grew up learning how to hustle. And for her entire career, she’s consistently bet on herself and her ideas. She joined us this week to talk about where that hustle comes from. And how she grew her business from the ground up, using her platform on “The Real Housewives of New York” to chart a new course for entrepreneurs.  

On Skinnygirl

Danielle: I want to talk about Skinnygirl, which obviously you grew into an enormous venture that you sold to Beam [but retained the IP to the Skinnygirl brand]. And there are two things that I wanna talk about specifically with Skinnygirl and negotiating. Is that something that you went into the deal thinking about? Is it something that you negotiated along the way? And I ask it from a tactical perspective, because I think when people are negotiating, they tend to think about the topline price and not necessarily the long-term implications.

Bethenny: Okay, so this is the best question of the day for your listener, because it applies to a PTA mom. This is not about, you know, even someone who understands what it means to negotiate. So I have always gone with my gut instinct. I had never signed a contract, read a contract.

…. I didn't even know I was so brilliant when I did it. It was just an idea, but I didn't know until later, when everyone was like, "What are you talking about, you didn't sell the whole brand?" I'm like, “no.” So I kept the whole pizza.

On Staying Driven

Bethenny: I came [on the show] straight up for one reason: to use it as a platform. And no one understood that…. And so I definitely, definitely paved the way for every reality star to use it as a platform to monetize it…. But I was really the first book, certainly the first Housewives book, the first "New York Times" best seller, the first cocktail, the first monetizer, the first everything. That's for sure. I had my eye on the prize from the minute I got in there.

On Following Her Instincts

Carly: We talk a lot on the show about following [your] gut and the power of instinct. When you have those gut feelings, those instinctual moments, how do you know when it's that versus you're getting in your head? Or how do you recognize that it's gut and [not] let fear get in the way of that?

Bethenny: It’s not clear until it's clear. And then it's clear. But you have to massage the dough and work it, you know, and go around and not know and not know, and then all of a sudden it happens to me between sleep and wake. Every good name for everything I had, every idea that I have... So many ideas happen when I'm still sleeping and I'm awake, and I just sort of it comes into fruition.

…. You know what? You gotta know when to fold them and when to hold them. But it doesn't matter if you make the right decision. You make a decision and then you make that decision work.