Book Review: Skinnygirl Solutions by Bethenny Frankel

I've been a fan of Bethenny Frankel since her days as a member of the original Housewives of NYC cast on Bravo. I lived for her cute quips, relationship blunders, and most importantly, her brand building. Needless to say I've read every book she's written with the exception of that fiction edition.

Frankel's new book Skinnygirl Solutions is more of a self-help guide for everything from home to health to career to sex. I thumbed through most of the "lifestyle" sections but paid particular attention to everything she stated about business. Chapter 13 Should You Start Your Own Business? in particular caught my eye because Bethenny opened up about mistakes she made in building her Skinnygirl brand. I'll share a few nuggets with you.


1. Control Your Quality: During the launch of the Skinnygirl Cleanse, the sample products were great, however, something happend during the first run of manufacturing. The company did a recall because they didn't want a bad product to be a reflection of their brand. She also pointed to the Lululemon yoga pant fiasco where they had to recall thousands of sold pants because they were see-through.

2. Obsess Over Everything: It takes an intense hyperfocus to ensure that your business will thrive. If a customer complains about one of Bethenny's products, she ensures they're contacted and her company makes it right.

3. Maintain Your Relationships: Relatinship building and the way you deal with people makes a huge difference in how you'll be able to handle mistakes or issues down the line.

4. Lawyer Up: When you're in business, assume you're going to grow. Don't skimp on lawyers, accountants, and business managers because it can cost you in the long run.

5. The Tax Man Cometh: Hiring a skilled and honest accountant can be in the best interest of your company. They can ensure your taxes are done in your best financial interest.

6. Distribution is Key: You can have the best product in the world, but if no one sees it, they won't purchase it. If distribution isn't in place, you lose major opportunities.

7. Jump-Start It: When an idea doesn't work, try a different approach. Narrowing down your concept to the problem you're facing can help improve your business.

8. Move It or Lose It: Move on an idea while there is momentum. 

9. But Don't Rush: Rushing can sometimes compromise the integrity of your business. People will often talk about a product or venture before they're ready and they never come to fruition. 

10. Know When to Fold 'Em: Bethenny told a story of dissolving a business relatioship for a skin-care line she developed. Circumstances in both her and her business partner's lives had change and the beauty industry no longer suited them. It was a good decision because the venture no longer served in their best interest. 

11. Get Real: Be real with yourself. Not every decision you make will be right or beneficial.  Sometimes you'll have to step outside of yourself to listen to other people or be more realistic.

12. Don't Believe in the Next Big Thing: Bethenny contends there is no "next big thing." Great ideas are everywhere yet have no power without business savvy, ambition, market research, follow through, and a good team.