When Bethenny Frankel started on "The Real Housewives of New York" in 2008, no one expected much from her.
"In the beginning, I wasn't [taken seriously]. But it was what it was," she told InStyle. "I shouldn't have been taken seriously in the beginning; I had no value. Or I didn't know the value I would have yet. I was a person that Bravo was hiring for $7,250 for the entire first season of [Real Housewives]."
In the end, Bethenny had the last laugh.
"But I knew what I wanted, which was to keep anything that I did in business. If you go on a reality show, you have to give a percentage [of any business you promote on the show] to the network—but I never did that," she said. "The industry ended up calling it 'The Bethenny Clause.' So that was very destructive in the industry, but I only got paid $7,250—and I was keeping whatever I earned. But I was nobody; I had accomplished anything yet, really."
Then, though, the reality TV star created Skinnygirl Cocktails, which she reportedly ended up selling for $100 million.
"l didn't feel financially independent until the Skinnygirl deal in 2011. Even if people are saving all the time, it's hard to acquire wealth unless you make a pile," she said. "It's easy to have money, spend, and save. But you have to save a lot more money than you think to make a real dent and have security. You have to either be very diligent in saving or investing, or have what I call an event, like a transaction, which is what my Skinnygirl deal was."
Interestingly, Bethenny could actually be a lot richer if she did one thing differently.
"My biggest money mistake was not checking the right box on a contract about whether my company was an LLC or an S Corp," she said. "It cost me millions of dollars when I sold. But that's just a mistake. [It's important to have] the right business managers and accountants and all that type of stuff."