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Bethenny Frankel: From Skinnygirl, Housewives to Philanthropist (ep. 224)

Bethenny Frankel

Former Real Housewives of New York + Founder of Skinnygirl, Bethenny Frankel shares about her BStrong philanthropy on the Live Inspired Podcast with John O’Leary.

Bethenny Frankel is the Founder & CEO of Skinnygirl, a lifestyle brand offering practical solutions to everyday problems, which has grown from sensible, low-calorie cocktails into a branding empire that including clothing, vitamins, skincare and more. In addition to her long-standing role on Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny has been a guest shark on ABC’s critically-acclaimed series Shark Tank, and runner-up in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart in 2005.

Today, Bethenny is focused on raising her young daughter and establishing her worldwide disaster relief initiative BStrong. This program provides much-needed real-time relief to disaster-stricken areas across the United States and beyond. While assessing and delivering supplies to the Australian bushfire crisis, her team has continued their support in Puerto Rico, which has been named one of the largest privately-run humanitarian efforts in US history.

Bethenny shares how she balances motherhood, her Skinnygirl empire, the critical impact her philanthropy is providing worldwide and will ignite the question, “what more can I do?”

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  • Always a survivor: Bethenny’s turbulent childhood taught her life-long lessons of dedication and determination.
  • “Coming in second place doesn’t count. Ironically, I came in second on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and it was the best thing.”
  • “Win. Don’t complain or explain.”
  • Playing chess > grand plans: Bethenny notes she looks at her business + professional life as a game of chess rather than having one grand plan.
  • Bethenny went from being a participant of Mark Burnett’s The Apprentice to recently partnering with him + MGM Television on producing female-centric programs.
  • Naively, Bethenny hoped in winning The Apprentice she’d democratize health the way Martha Stewart democratized style.
  • Bethenny was cast as the oddball character on Real Housewives of New York, and she committed to being vulnerable and her authentic self, focusing on the opportunity it provided to launch her Skinnygirl empire.
  • BStrong: Bethenny directly oversees her worldwide philanthropic initiative that provides real-time emergency assistance to individuals and their families after impacted by disaster with much-needed gift cards, bank cards and critical supplies.
  • “What’s better? Pick up a broom and help clean up a mess or complain and look at the mess?”
  • “You’re pretty blessed if the people you love are alive.”
  • To learn more or donate to Bethenny Frankel’s philanthropy BStrong, visit their website.

If you enjoyed learning from a female entrepreneur, you’ll love my conversation with Dina Dwyer-Owens. Dina shares a three-part focus that has led to an incredibly successful business + inspired life. Listen to Dina Dwyer-Owens on ep. 49.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer, Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and by Rhonda Byrne.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Not worrying so much.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? A tray of watches because they all have different memories from different times in my life, and my pictures are on my phone.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Mark Zuckerberg and I’d ask, “How did you have the courage at a young age to turn down a billion dollars for your brand?”

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t buy into the love and don’t buy into the hate.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? I need to find a way to make her understand to absolutely not worry at all about relationships and just have fun.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? I only sweat the small stuff.


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