Some people can move back in with Mom and Dad if they have to, or at the very least sleep on their aunt or sister’s couch until they get their priorities straight. That makes for a kiss. But that was never an option for me.
I didn’t have a strong support system growing up. I’ve always known that if I got into trouble while building my career, I might have to sleep in my crappy car with a broken windshield.
Fortunately, that never happened, but the opportunity was always in the background as I began my journey to become an entrepreneur and build Skinnygirl Liquor, which I sold for $100 million in 2011.
I had to be proactive and work hard. I believe that success is achievable for anyone who wants to put in the old school effort and work hard.
Here are some key mindsets that helped me get to where I am today:
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban actually used the phrase “do the job” when I spoke to him about what success means.
He told me, “People ask me, ‘Mark, what kind of business should I start?’ And I say, “If you don’t know, I can’t tell you. But what I can tell you is that you have to do the work. You have to learn.” One of the greatest assets you have is excitement about learning. It is the one constant in this life. Especially with all the changes we are going through right now. New things are coming and you can’t be ignorant of them If you want to be successful, you have to take the time to learn.”
TV producer and host Andy Cohen embodies enthusiasm. I think it’s one of his secret ingredients for success.
His dream was to be in television news. After his studies he moved to New York. “I thought, I’m going to wait tables until I can get a job. Something must openHe told me. “Oddly enough, a nighttime desk assistant left a morning show shortly after I moved to New York, and I got that job.”
He loved it.
“I worked 70 hours a week, but I didn’t care. I worked so hard and felt so successful because I got checks that said CBS. I just thought I was the sh**. I thought I was great,” he said. “It’s such simple advice, but I always tell people that if you have a passion for something, you should be able to succeed, because the passion will drive you.”
Don’t be the person who wants a promotion or raise just to show up. That’s right. Earn the height by working harder and smarter than everyone else. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, if you’re working to succeed, you can’t rest on your laurels.
Today I have a strong team, which I have worked diligently to put together. One of my assistants in particular will do great things in her career because her work ethic is so strong. She’ll say to me, “I want you to feel supported, I’m traveling with you. What else can I do? How can I make this easier?”
That means everything to me. And because she approaches the job with such vigor, loyalty and enthusiasm, I make sure she doesn’t burn herself out.
But I also see a lot of myself in her, and I know that if she maintains this attitude to work, she will be a success as she goes along.
Understanding that you are on your own does not mean that you can do it all alone. I’ve never been shy about finding experts, asking questions and getting my ideas to the right people.
Years ago, when I was working on my BethennyBakes business, I’d watch Food Network shows and wait for the end credits to roll in. I wrote down the names of production companies and producers and tried to find their contact details. In general, companies are happy to provide correct telephone numbers or email addresses.
I would bake cookies, wrap them up and send them to the producers and executives in their offices, along with a handwritten note. I would make a phone call and often arrange to meet with them. It didn’t result in a cooking show, but I built important connections that got me started.
People constantly ask me if I’m a woman in a man’s world. But that’s not how I look at the world; I think about being strong and persevering.
For example, if I’d thought about being a woman in a company dominated by men, where men are the power behind and for the brands, I might not have entered the liquor margarita with my Skinnygirl. It never occurred to me that some doors might be closed to me because I’m a woman.
Whatever I wanted to do, I just went in and fought for it. I’ve fought to be better than the men, better than the women, just to be better than†
Don’t get me wrong: inequality exists, and it is a problem. But when I’m doing something, I’m focused on the task at hand. I am not self-conscious. I believe that is the best way to achieve goals.
I also believe that thinking about yourself in terms of your identity can hold you back. It can lead you to make assumptions about what other people think about you, such as “he doesn’t want to work with me because I’m a woman” – but sometimes that’s not the case.
And even if it does, I don’t believe it won’t help you or your ambitions to focus on that. That thinking comes from a place of ‘no’ instead of 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†
Do not miss: