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Bethenny Frankel’s Secret to Success

Having your own personal mission statement — a vision of what’s important to you and what you want to accomplish — focuses you in a very powerful way, whether you’re launching a business or training for a marathon. Learn how Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl brand grew naturally from the things she’s passionate about. From A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life.

Ask yourself: What is your purpose? What do you want to accomplish? What’s important to you? Try to frame it in terms of action. A mother’s personal message might be, “My children will have a better life than I did,” or “I will run the best-ever event at my daughter’s school.” An artist’s mission might be, “I create beautiful things that inspire people.” An emergency room nurse’s mission might be, “I save lives.” A weekend athlete’s mission might be, “I’m going to run a marathon.” Anyone’s mission could be, “I do everything with complete commitment,” or “I maximize my health.” Or maybe your mission is simply, “I make as much money as possible” or “I have fun every day.” It’s your brand, your mission, and your decision. It might change tomorrow, but decide what it is today. I won’t judge you. Just make it true to you.

Having your own personal mission statement focuses you in a very powerful way. It helps you see exactly how to make everything your business, because you see what fits with your mission. For me, my business evolved directly out of my own personal beliefs. I’m passionate about natural health, being fit, eating well, and solving problems. The Skinnygirl brand naturally grew from these things I stand for.

The purpose of the Skinnygirl brand is my purpose in my career — to solve problems and inspire and help women live healthier, better lives. Everything I do relates to that in some way. I have a clear picture in my mind of who the Skinnygirl is: She’s the girl we all want to be, whether size 2 or size 12, the girl who is comfortable with herself, who feels good in her body and loves her life.

People often asked me how I came up with the Skinnygirl name. I first came up with the name when I created a simple recipe for my Skinnygirl Margarita. I was working on recipes for my first book, Naturally Thin, and I wanted a margarita without the guilt, something perfect for the health-conscious woman who still wants to have fun. The Skinnygirl Margarita is the drink I always order, or make at home. So I nailed down a formula and gave it that name.

I began ordering them, and telling bartenders how to make them, and then I mentioned the drink on my show. The term became a buzzword. Questions about how to make a Skinnygirl Margarita flooded Bravo network’s website after the show on which it was mentioned.

Other people began making them and ordering them, and I got so much great feedback about the idea of a cocktail that was fun and easy but not loaded with sugar and calories that it occurred to me: Why not bottle it, to make life even easier?

I was solving a problem, and the brand was truly born.

It wasn’t without obstacles, though. The Skinnygirl Margarita truly was the little cocktail that could. When I first took the Skinnygirl Margarita concept to several major liquor companies to develop as a product, no one bit. Liquor is a completely male-dominated business, and I encountered surprising resistance to the idea that I wanted to sell liquor. They told me that there wasn’t room for this product in the ready-to-drink market. They didn’t see the potential.

But I had a feeling this was a good idea. No matter how many people told me no, I knew that women buy most of the products for the home. Why shouldn’t a woman sell liquor to women who want to drink it? Don’t listen to the world tell you what is or isn’t a good idea. Listen to your instincts. I really pounded the pavement with the Skinnygirl Margarita, and it was frustrating that nobody else could see what I saw, but I didn’t give up because I believed in it.


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