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Bethenny Frankel on Why Great Ideas Are Not Successful

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“Honestly, I didn’t even know the word entrepreneur. I was in my late 30s and didn’t know the word ‘brand’ or ‘entrepreneur,'” says SkinnyGirl founder. says Bethenny Frankel. She told Sharon Epperson at her CNBC Small Business Playbook virtual summit on Wednesday.

More than a decade later, Frankel is a wildly successful, self-made entrepreneur, selling low-calorie packaged margaritas, skinny-girl cocktails for $120 million, and continuing to delve into a string of ambitious business ventures. From specialty foods to branded apparel, with her Skinnygirl lifestyle brand.

She may not have always envisioned a life in business, but she always envisioned the next big idea and what it would take to bring it to life, she told Epperson.

“I’ve always been an idea man. I couldn’t help but implement any crazy idea I had,” Frankel said.

The Skinnygirl brand was one of those ideas. It’s her simple vision to create her own signature cocktails. “I was very simply wanting to have a cocktail for myself.

That personal need wasn’t an idea she quickly learned would be embraced by millions.

“I had no idea we were creating the first ever low-calorie margarita or creating the ready-to-drink cocktail category,” she said. But once she realized how popular the concept was, she knew there was an opportunity to turn it into a successful business.

That shift to building a business is where Frankel emphasizes that having a good entrepreneurial idea doesn’t make her story special. When you’re thinking, everybody thinks they’re smart too.You think you have good ideas.Everyone has good ideas,” she said. I was.

Good ideas may have set her apart, but drive and motivation are more important in business.

“I’ve realized that having drive and determination and passion, an unstoppable nature, are really the real ingredients of success,” Frankel said. And the world and technology and what’s popular is always changing, so if you have the unchanging spirit of being a hard, old-fashioned worker, you’re going to thrive. People are very rare, so you can see how valuable it is,” she added.

Frankel says personal investment and authenticity, along with a strong work ethic, are essential to a successful entrepreneurial venture.

“Business is lonely. You are alone,” she said. “You sign that dotted line alone. It’s your reputation and it’s yours alone….No one cares about your business as much as you do,” she told Epperson.

She also rejects the idea that business and personal life should or can be kept separate.

The lines between business and personal life are becoming increasingly blurred, especially since the onset of the pandemic, as many workers have started working from home and decisions made in one area have taken on new meaning in another. It’s getting more and more ambiguous.

And in a world characterized by rising inflation and interest rates, and business owners becoming increasingly concerned about supply chain problems and labor shortages, business choices are also inevitably personal choices. proven not to be.

“Business is a very personal thing. How you spend your money in your personal life can impact whether you should invest in your business idea. can affect the type of school my daughter goes to, or how I handle my business affects how I spend my time – this is a very personal thing. is.

The number of new business formations has been high since the pandemic began, and Frankel said times of uncertainty offer opportunities.

“I think people look at the equation one way and keep trying the same key for the door, but now it’s time to try different keys and find what works for you.” Sometimes it’s crazy chaos, but there are bright spots, and there are other opportunities,” she said.

After years of buying and selling real estate, Frankel pivoted to suburban real estate early in the pandemic.

Still, according to Frankel, it’s essential to stay grounded in your core mission, even as your business evolves. “You have to be able to pivot and shift, but you have to stay true to the basics and core of your business,” she said.

For entrepreneurs facing stagnation, Frankel recommends focusing on your own needs and interests rather than worrying about what others are doing. Think about how you react: think about what you are eating, what you are digesting, what you are interested in, what you are attracted to, what you like and what you dislike. And reflect that in your work,” she said.

Frankel’s personal desire for a low-calorie, ready-to-drink cocktail turned into a multi-million dollar business.

What makes a business inherently personal is going in before going to market.

“It has to come from within. What really speaks to you is probably what speaks to a lot of people,” she said.