Businesswoman Bethenny Frankel spoke to a packed room at the Triple Play Realtor® Convention & Trade Expo on Tuesday as part of the National Association of Realtors® brand campaign, Riding with the Brand.
PAR President Christopher Beadling, New York State Association of Realtors® President Jennifer Vucetic and New Jersey Realtors® President Robert White sat with Frankel, discussing her many business successes, including founding and serving as CEO of Skinnygirl and becoming both a New York Times bestselling author and a TV producer. Additionally, she hosts a business podcast, Just B, and founded launched Bstrong, a worldwide initiative in partnership with Global Empowerment Mission, to collect aid and donations to help people affected by natural disasters.
“Even in my 30s before my success, I didn’t think of the word brand. It wasn’t discussed. But it is really important. It is sometimes overused,” said Frankel. “The concept is so important, even if it’s your own moral compass, I always know what my brand is. Protect the realm.”
Frankel advised thinking of what you stand for as a Realtor® and finding a central concept. “You want to think of a thread that is the filter that everything goes through, a vibe or aesthetic. Every decision that you make is something that has to filter through that central concept.”
Being offered money to partner with another brand that isn’t quite what she stands for can be tempting, but Frankel said she strives to be authentic. “It’s hard to turn down opportunities, but if they don’t align with my brand, I turn them down. It’s not worth it to stand for something I don’t believe in. My brand is about honesty. It’s OK to do what I want. But if I’m being honest, I am transparent. Its better to have everything you do align with your brand.”
But Frankel still acknowledges mistakes can be made in business. “Use the mistakes as case law,” she said. “If you’re negotiating a deal and this and that went wrong, you know for next time.”
“It’s extremely hard to grow, you are going to crack some eggs along the way. If you try to please everyone, you will please no one. You have to be decisive. I have been so close to cancelation. You have to make big decisions and make them pay off. Most people aren’t good when its crunch time. Most people take their hands off the wheel and crash or hold the wheel and crash. You have to be in the middle,” she said.
Frankel spoke of how social media can feel awkward or forced, but advised Realtors® to make an effort and keep trying to connect.
“I wanted to be good at it and I just wasn’t. I kept trying, using different ways. It clicked when I realized I have to be authentic as possible. It doesn’t have to be overthought. You can’t fault someone for being true to themselves.”
“You have to be really honest with yourself,” added Frankel. “Everybody has an idea and they can execute it. Being an entrepreneur has a lot of risk. Do you have what it takes? You are never not thinking about it. Your brain is on all cylinders at all times. We can set up as much work-life balance as we want, but if you are not that type of person, you will not be able to go all the way into the end zone. You have to be gnarly if you want to really kick ass.”