Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel is a self-made millionaire who knows how to get what she wants. The savvy businesswoman is a champion negotiator who had the vision when signing her first contract with Bravo back in 2008 to make sure she owns everything she ever does. So how did she get a better contract than the rest of her cast mates?
According to CNBC, Frankel made only $7,250 for the entire first season of RHONY, but she was the only person in the cast to put in her contract that she has complete ownership of everything she does. And for Frankel, when it came to Skinny Girl, that was a “pretty good thing.”
Bravo initially presented the 47-year-old with a contract that included a clause that would give the network a percentage of any business she promoted on the show, but Frankel wouldn’t sign it.
That smart and lucrative move allowed Frankel to use her role on Real Housewives of New York to promote her Skinny Girl brand, and in 2011 she sold her line of diet cocktails for $110 million. She still owns the rest of the Skinny Girl empire, which includes everything from candy and popcorn to a new jeans line.
When it comes to negotiating, Frankel has a few tips for success, and the first one is to be strategic.
“I don’t come in at some crazy number, and then later they find out that I would have taken much less, or I meant something different,” said Frankel. “And the reason for that is that they later might be negotiating with you again, and they already know your poker face.”
Her second tip is to have some integrity in your negotiation. If something isn’t going well, you need to communicate and be fair. Frankel adds that she thinks it’s true that both parties negotiating should be uncomfortable and happy at the same time.
The reality star says she is always negotiating and communicating about what she wants, how to make someone else happy, and how to make herself happy.
Frankel’s time on RHONY has allowed her to become a business mogul and media star, and she isn’t the only one benefitting from her success and fortune.
During the season ten premiere of the show, Bravo devoted the first segment to Frankel’s relief efforts and the fact that she was responsible for getting millions of dollars of aid and supplies to Houston and Puerto Rico during their natural disasters. And, she also put boots on the ground herself.
RHONY might depict the cushy lives of socialites, but when it comes Frankel, she is one cast member who is living a life that she worked smart and hard for.
Catch Bethenny Frankel in new episodes of Real Housewives of New York, Wednesday nights on Bravo.