‘I might have to sleep in my crappy car’: Self-made millionaire Bethenny Frankel shares the mindsets that helped her achieve success


Some people can move back in with mom and dad if they have to, or at a minimum, crash on their aunt or sister’s couch until they get their priorities in order. That provides a cushion. But that was never a possibility for me.

I didn’t have a strong support system growing up. I always knew that if I ran into trouble while building my career, I might have to sleep in my crappy car with a broken windshield.

That never happened, thankfully, but the possibility was always in the background as I started my journey to becoming an entrepreneur and building Skinnygirl Liquor, which I sold for $100 million in 2011.

I had to be proactive, and I had to work hard. I believe that success is achievable for anyone who wants to put in old-school effort and hard work.

Here are some key mindsets that have helped me get to where I am today:

1. You have to do the work

2. Stay enthusiastic

3. No one is going to give you anything for free

4. Make the call

5. Let your work speak for you

People ask me about being a woman in a man’s world all the time. But I don’t look at the world that way; I think about being strong and pushing through.

For instance, had I thought about the fact that I was a woman in a business that is dominated by men, where men are the power behind and in front of the brands, maybe I wouldn’t have gone into the spirits industry with my Skinnygirl margarita. It never occurred to me that some doors might be closed to me because I’m female.

Whatever I’ve wanted to do, I have just gone in and fought to do it. I’ve fought to be better than the men, better than the women, to just be better than.

Don’t get me wrong: Inequity does exist, and it’s a problem. But when I am doing something, I am focused on the task at hand. I’m not self-conscious. I believe that is the best way to reach goals.

I also believe that thinking of yourself in terms of your identity can hold you back. It can lead you to make assumptions about what other people may be thinking about you, like “he doesn’t want to work with me because I’m a woman” — but it’s sometimes not the case.

And even if it is, I don’t believe that focusing on that is not going to be helpful to you or your aspirations. That thinking is coming from a place of “no,” rather than from a place of “yes.”

Bethenny Frankel is an entrepreneur, TV producer, podcaster, and author of “Business is Personal: The Truth About What it Takes to Be Successful While Staying True to Yourself.” She is also the founder and CEO of Skinnygirl. Follow her on Instagram @bethennyfrankel.

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