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A l so by beth e n n y Fr A n k e l
N aturall y Thin The Skinnygirl Dish
A Place of Yes
10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life
with Eve Adamson
A touchstone book
Published by Simon & Schuster New York London Toronto Sydney
Touchstone A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 Copyright © 2011 by BB Endeavors, LLC All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Touchstone Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. First Touchstone hardcover edition March 2011 TOUCHSTONE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com. Designed Joy O’Meara Manufactured in the United States of America 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Frankel, Bethenny. A place of yes : 10 rules for getting everything you want out of life / by Bethenny Frankel, with Eve Adamson. p. cm. 1. Self-actualization (Psychology). 2. Self-realization. 3. Self-defeating behavior. 4. Success. 5. Frankel, Bethenny. I. Adamson, Eve. II. Title. BF637.S4F723 2011 646.7—dc22 ISBN 978-1-4391-8690-9 ISBN 978-1-4391-8692-3 (ebook) 2010050090
This book is dedicated to you:
my passionate, fearless, inappropriate, supportive, caring, hilarious fans. You go for it, you want more, you believe in yourselves and in the fight and you know that good enough simply isn’t good enough. You have come into my life and allowed me to come into yours. Everything I do is to show you that anything and everything is possible, and we will get there together. Trust this book, love yourself, and allow yourself to live the life you always dreamed of.
Who I Am, What This Book Is About, and What You Need to Know Before You Begin 1
Break the Chain: Surviving Childhood 18
Find Your Truth: How I Finally Met My Match 64
Act on It: My Dream Evolves 114
Everything’s Your Business: Finding My Stride As an Entrepreneur 143
All Roads Lead to Rome: The Rise and Fall of BethennyBakes 174
Go for Yours: The Apprentice, Martha, and Me 201
Separate from the Pack: My Life as a “Housewife” 226
Own It: Bethenny Getting Married? 253
Come Together: My Life Now 276
Celebrate!: The Business of Being Happy 311
Everything’s Your Business
Decide what you want, and decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.
—H. L. Hunt, entrepreneur and oil tycoon
Making everything your business helps you set your priorities as it helps you do your best. It is particularly helpful when you have to make a big decision. Should you do something or not? Ask yourself whether you truly want to do it, and whether you are willing to give it all you’ve got. Will it feed into your plan for your life, will it move you forward, is it in line with your goals and your values and who you are? Will you enjoy it? Do you think it will be worth your best effort? If it is, then commit to it fully. If not, then say no—because in that case, saying no will be coming from a place of yes. Here’s an example from my life. Recently, to my great surprise and pleasure, I was asked to be on Skating with the Stars. Iceskating! I loved the idea, but my first thought was that I didn’t have the time. In fact, I thought there was no possible way I could do it. I was just beginning to film the second season of my show, and we film four to five days a week. Bravo said there was no way I could fit it in—I was still finishing up this book, doing frequent appearances—it would be impossible. It would be insane. Plus, it really didn’t have anything to do with my career. Would it be a ridiculous thing to do? I considered all the angles. I knew it couldn’t compromise more important things, like my family, and Jason would have to be on board with it. The show involved a lot of early-morning practices at the rink. Would that cut into our important family time? Would I be sacrificing time with Bryn? I knew it would put a lot more pressure and responsibility on Jason. On the other hand, I love to skate! I thought it would be fun. I
A Place of Yes
thought I could set a good example for Bryn, and for women everywhere. If I could go on a show like that at the age of 40, when I couldn’t even skate down the ramp on the first day, wouldn’t that inspire women? Wouldn’t they see they could do anything, if they want it enough? I wanted it enough. Jason was behind me 100 percent. He came from a place of yes, and said, “You can do this. I’ll get you through it.” He could tell how much I wanted to do it, and to him, that meant we should make it work. Someday we could show Bryn the pictures of Mommy skating in the pretty costumes. It could actually be fun, even a bonding activity for our family. I definitely wasn’t free from doubts, not to mention perfectionist noise. I love to roller-skate, but I hadn’t really ice-skated since I was a kid, except for a few times at Rockefeller Center, maybe every five years or so on a date. Could I do it? What if I fell? What if I made a complete fool of myself ? A lot of those skaters took ballet, and I didn’t. I’m more athletic and not all that graceful, and iceskating is ballet on ice. What if I looked ridiculous? What if, what if, what if ? But fear is a mindset, and so is the will to succeed. It’s all in how you approach it. Don’t think of all the ways you can’t do something. Think of all the ways you can. I could have focused on how hard this would be—many of the other people on the show are just doing the show, while I’m simultaneously filming my show, writing my book, managing my business, and at the same time, have a new husband and a new baby. Add to that commuting from New York to Los Angeles every week. I could focus on how hard it would be. Or, I could focus on how much I wanted to do it. It might even be great. I made something great for myself out of the Real Housewives experience, which could have been a career killer if I’d handled it the wrong way. Also, I’m a gambler and I like to be in on the ground floor of things. If Bravo asked me to join the Real Housewives franchise today, I would probably say no because it’s nothing new anymore. When I said yes to that show
Everything’s Your Business
(more about that story in a later chapter), it was the beginning of a whole new era of television. The same applies to Dancing with the Stars, which just finished its eleventh season. I could have gone on that show, but I preferred the idea of doing a Season One, even if I was taking a risk on a show that might or might not even have a Season Two. My agent said, “Why don’t you wait to see if it’s a success, and if it is, you can go on the second season?” I thought about that, but it’s really not my style. I also considered that my show is on a specialized cable channel, but Skating with the Stars is on network television. This would be a much wider audience, and that alone has a lot of potential in terms of getting my name and face out there and expanding my business and my message. It could take me to the next level. (In actuality, it also almost killed me! But that’s the nature of risk.) So I could see benefits for my career. Ultimately, though, that is not why I did it. My gut said to go for it. So I said yes. It was the most grueling, difficult, excruciating experience of my entire life. But once I decided to tackle it, I knew I had to go all the way with it. When you decide to do something that really stretches your limits, you have to stand by your decision, not do it begrudgingly or tell everybody you’re too tired or it’s too hard. Even when it was hard and I was tired and stressed, I couldn’t complain about it because it was my decision and nobody made me do it. One day, Julie looked at me and said, “Hey—we did it.” She was right. We were surgically efficient and maximized every minute to make it happen. I was never late for a rehearsal, and when I was there, I was totally there, not thinking about what I had to do next. Jason helped make it happen in every way he could, and I couldn’t have done it without his help. I pushed my limits and embraced something that wasn’t necessarily comfortable. In the end, I probably never should have done it. I’ve never done anything so difficult
A Place of Yes
in my life. Everything’s my business, but I had no business doing a show like this. It was just so grueling—sometimes I wanted to crawl into bed and never come back out. I probably cried every day. But here’s the thing: I said yes, so I honored my commitment, and I ended up making it to the finals. I improved so dramatically, it still amazes me. I went from amateur to actually knowing how to ice-skate. It was a true accomplishment for me. I learned two important lessons from this experience. One: know your limits! Women tend to take on too much and spread themselves too thin. Perfectionist noise! You have to do what’s good for you, girls. You don’t have to say yes to everything! Two: When you do say yes, keep going. No matter how difficult it gets, plowing through and taking responsibility for what you decided to do can transform you. It builds character, and it helps you to push yourself to accomplish what you never dreamed you could. Although truth be told, if I had to do it over again? I would say, “No, thank you.”
Know What You Stand For
A brand is a living entity and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.
—Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Walt Disney Company
The next important element that can help you understand how to make everything your business is to really decide what your business is. Whether your business is technically a business or not, you can’t make everything your business unless you have a clear vision of what that means for you. Specifically, you need to have a message, and you must know what you stand for.
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New from Bethenny!
It’s easy to say no and “I can’t,” to expect the worst and to doubt yourself. But your life can be better than “not bad” or “good enough”—it can be amazing. In her new book, Bethenny opens up and shares the obstacles she overcame and the great success she has enjoyed while discovering how to approach life from “A Place of Yes.” By putting together Bethenny’s ten rules for pursuing your goals with authenticity and drive, you too can be more successful, more fulfilled, healthier, and happier than ever before. Click here to learn more!
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