Podcast Magazine’s Top Mom In Podcasting for 2022
Bethenny Frankel, widely recognized for her role as one of the Real Housewives of New York, is a self-made serial entrepreneur, television producer, investor, and mother who has been named Podcast Magazine’s ‘Top Mom in Podcasting’ for 2022.
As the founder and CEO of Skinnygirl, a lifestyle brand, she offers practical solutions to women while empowering them to lead healthy, fearless lives. Her books have hit the New York Times bestseller list multiple times, and her latest, Business is Personal, reveals the truth about what it takes to be successful while staying true to yourself.
She is also an inspiring humanitarian who is passionate about supporting others in finding their own strength and resilience via BStrong—a worldwide initiative in partnership with Global Empowerment Mission that has been recognized as “one of the largest privately run humanitarian efforts in U.S. history.”
Collecting aid and donations across the country, Bethenny and her team developed an unprecedented model—one that enables them to effectively and efficiently deliver critical supplies to those directly affected by natural disasters across the globe.
Most recently, BStrong has secured more than $25,000,000 in donations and aid for Ukraine.
“There’s no ‘middleman’ in our organization” Bethenny said. “We are responsible for distributing what we collect, and I’m the one who dictates how the money, which in this case, is in excess of $2,000,000 in cash donations alone, is spent, play-by-play. For Ukraine, we’re focusing on medical supplies, refugee relocation, etc.
“It’s a massive effort in three countries—Ukraine, Hungary, and Poland—where we have multiple enormous distribution centers from which various organizations can get what they need. It could be medical supplies, resources for churches, schools, or hospitals, and more.
“We also extract people from Ukraine, including orphans, and distribute aid where needed within Ukraine. We run it as a business, which is why we’re able to directly impact those in need. It’s unprecedented, and we are unstoppable.”
Clearly, Bethenny leads by example. She is incredibly successful at empowering others to take ownership and enrolling them into her vision. This includes her 11-year-old daughter, who raised $12,500 by selling her original artwork and dedicating all proceeds directly to Ukraine.
“I’m very analytical,” Bethenny explained. “To enroll people into anything, I have to fully understand it. I realized very early with BStrong that if I am really transparent, honest, and direct from the get-go, we can take people along on our journey. I let them know what we need, specifically. So it’s not as if people are just throwing money into the ‘ether’ but have no idea where it goes.
“When the headlines are hot—when everyone cares about an issue—it’s fairly easy to secure support. Interestingly though, you can’t bombard people all the time with it or constantly ask for donations. I still need to post pictures that people do want to see. It can’t be pictures showing all of our supplies and hospitals, all the time.
“So, it’s a dance. My partner wants to post constantly with our ask. But we can’t … we can’t shove it down people’s throats. There has to be an ebb and flow. Even in the way you communicate about philanthropy—you don’t ask unless it’s time to ask.
“That’s not to say we don’t have what we need to help. We have about $25,000,000 in aid overall right now, and it keeps coming in. So if 50 doctors need something specific, we can get it for them.”
Bethenny did not come by her overwhelming success easily. In fact, hers was a lesson in resilience.
As a child, Bethenny “witnessed every single negative thing a person can short of murder,” she said. Yet nothing was as “torturous and tragic” as her divorce… which spanned more than ten years.
“It was the single greatest nightmare I hope to ever experience. It was endless torture for almost a decade… a really horrifying experience that I basically had to consider like golf—something I dealt with one hole at a time. I’d get pulled back and be a hole behind, but I just took it on strategically. I hoped that one day, justice would be served, but I really didn’t believe it ever would, to be honest. It was truly insane and horrifying, and I was miserable. It felt like a hell I was never going to emerge from.
“It wasn’t even a matter of trying to stay positive. I just put one foot in front of the other, every single day. It was a storm that didn’t stop for so long, and every day, it beat me down. But I kept going, until it finally subsided.”
Acknowledging that you “can’t hate where you come from,” Bethenny’s resilience has served her well throughout other areas of her life, as well.
When she auditioned for The Apprentice early on in her career, she was by her own admission “broke.” She wanted it badly, and after enduring a week of sequestering, emotional testing, and IQ testing, she was a finalist. However, on the very last day, she was cut. Despite her disappointment, she said:
“I didn’t get it… but I was only upset for a day. Then, it turned into motivation.
“Now, my resilience enables me to sit back and allow things to happen. If they don’t, I don’t push it. If it doesn’t come to fruition, it wasn’t meant to be. There’s no more clawing my way to achieve things anymore. I like everything to be more fluid and easygoing now. I’ve proven myself… I’ve checked a few boxes. So, it’s good.”
In 2020, Bethenny launched Just B with Bethenny Frankel—a podcast “devoted to being a self-made mogul in business, lifestyle, and beyond.”
It instantly topped the charts, ranking fourth overall on Apple Podcasts and securing its spot as the #1 Society & Culture podcast within the first week. Quite an impressive feat, considering Bethenny “knew nothing about the podcast space.”
“All I knew was that it seemed to be the hottest space going, and I was intrigued by the idea of interviewing credible people I could have interesting conversations with. Fame was not something I cared about in this filter. I just wanted to talk with people who really accomplished something in a non-traditional sense.”
Bethenny’s first three guests—Mark Cuban, Bozoma Saint John, and Paris Hilton—clearly fit the bill.
“The way you begin something is the way it ends,” Bethenny said, “and I was so fortunate to start my podcasting journey the way I did. Since then, I’ve maintained that filter. I bring on guests people haven’t heard of—like Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois senator who was one of the first women to fly combat missions throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom. When her helicopter was hit by an RPG, she lost both legs and partial use of her right arm. So, I choose people I’m passionate about and think are interesting.
“What’s curious is that I’ve also done full-on rant episodes, where I just talk about something I find annoying, crazy, or funny. And these shows often rate even higher than episodes featuring people such as Matthew McConaughey and Kelly Rippa, which is crazy!
“This medium became a creative outlet for me to express myself freely. And I was missing that, after leaving reality television. It’s something I really need, and I love this outlet for it. It’s my favorite thing of all the things I do. And it’s very successful, which just proves if you really love something, the success will come.
“I remember when we had just started, someone called to tell me I was in the top five podcasts, alongside Kara Swisher and Hillary Clinton. I was like, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ It just propelled itself.
“I’m part of something… and I’m doing something meaningful that also makes me feel good about myself. I know what it feels like to be popping off, just like when I was in reality TV. When you are really making a difference, it’s great for everybody.”
Now with more than a hundred interviews recorded, Bethenny shared some of her favorites thus far:
“Grant Cardone provided this gem—he said, ‘I don’t fix my wife. I don’t work on her, and she doesn’t work on me. I work on me.’ And that has influenced my relationship with my fiancé, Paul. I enjoyed my conversation with Matthew McConaughey a lot, because he is so entertaining and interesting. My talks with Kelly Rippa and Katie Couric were extraordinary. As far as ratings and downloads go, those two episodes did the best.
“I’ve had really good conversations with people who are truly meaningful. And I’ve learned a ton, because it’s like reading a book every time. I think about getting to talk to Sheryl Sandberg, Hillary Clinton, and Deepak Chopra for an entire hour… you get to absorb so much! My guests are purposeful. They add to the world.”
Describing herself as “a female Howard Stern or Dave Portnoy—an unfiltered, irreverent woman just speaking the truth without fear,” Bethenny offers the following advice to Podcast Magazine® readers:
“Do one thing well and push it through. There’s one common thread between billionaires, moguls, former first ladies, tech giants—they all have non-traditional roots. If they can do it, you can do it, too. Anybody can. You just have to have the drive, passion, and determination, no matter what it’s directed toward.”
While it’s clear that Bethenny does many things well, she now equates success to quality versus quantity. She chooses to pour her energy into endeavors that have a meaningful return on investment, whether financially, spiritually, emotionally, or physically—initiatives that motivate her, make her laugh, and are fun and fulfilling… like her podcast.
“Life’s too short,” she said. “I’ve taken multiple seven-figure deals off the table, because I want to enjoy my life. If I don’t enjoy it, I’m not going to do it. And it feels really good now to say, ‘Absolutely no more of anything else.’ Time is far more valuable than money.”