- Bethenny Frankel realized she was successful when she was on the cover of Forbes in 2011 after selling Skinnygirl Cocktails for $100 million.
- Still, it took her some time to start making expensive purchases.
- Before "Real Housewives" and Skinnygirl, Frankel said she only had $8,000 to her name.
Bethenny Frankel, the New York "Real Housewife" turned millionaire brand mogul, didn't achieve success overnight.
She said she only had $8,000 in the bank at the time; she was working to become a natural-food chef. Eventually Frankel signed on to the show for just $7,250.
After the show took off, Frankel said she knew she would be a success. "I just knew that I was a valuable asset in this, just because I'm an honest storyteller, and there's a lot of comedy along the way," she told Business Insider. As the show found loyal fans, so did Frankel's Skinnygirl brand.
In 2011, she sold Skinnygirl to Beam Global for $100 million while retaining the name rights, continuing to earn a profit. Shortly after, she appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine. But Frankel said she still didn't feel financially secure yet.
"I guess I intellectually knew it, but I didn't feel it," Frankel said. "It took me a while to start purchasing things and paying expensive bills for things that I would have cringed at then. Literally, before 'Housewives,' I would have been crying in a corner for a $4,000 pool-heater bill."
Frankel said that getting to a certain level of financial success has given her freedom, but she hasn't accomplished everything she wants to in the business world.
She continued: "I look at business for myself — and I guess a little bit reality TV — as when the tables are hot, you press your bets. Right now the tables are hot, knock on wood. If they go cold, I'll walk. That's how I feel."
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