Bethenny Frankel’s Instagram Post Describes Her Journey From Bounced Checks to Financial Security

Former Real Housewives of New York cast member Bethenny Frankel has worked her way to the top. From reality star to millionaire entrepreneur, Frankel has proven herself as a savvy business owner and fierce negotiator, building her wealth from scratch.

Recently reflecting on Instagram, Frankel posted her gratitude on achieving success and the importance of paying it forward.

Bethenny Frankel | David Livingston/Getty Images

Building a brand

Though many fans know her best for her Bravo TV reality show fame, Frankel has established herself as an advantageous entrepreneur. Creating the popular Skinnygirl brand in 2009, Frankel sold her company for an estimated $100 million in 2011, according to People.

Though Skinnygirl netted a huge profit for Frankel, her company was initially rejected by liquor organizations, and even publicists. “I just ended up doing it myself,” she said, according to Forbes. “I focused on moving the product and it sold. People can lie, but the numbers don’t lie.”

Fortunately, Frankel also proved to be a shrewd negotiator early on. She told CNBC last year that when solidifying her contract for Real Housewives of New York, she made sure to have one detail in writing. “In the first season of Housewives, I made $7,250 for the entire season, but was the only person to put in my contract [that] anything I ever do, I own,” Frankel said. “And that ended up being a pretty good thing when it came to Skinnygirl.”

Remembers being broke

Posting a holiday photo with her daughter Bryn, Frankel took to Instagram to reflect on leaner times and how far she’s come. “It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t afford to take a taxi from my apartment uptown to downtown,” she wrote. “I would go to the ATM to get $40 & an “insufficient funds” slip would pop out. I bounced checks, which would then affect other checks I’d written & I would panic over those fees. Then, I would beg the person on the phone for mercy. This was also when I lived alone in my studio apartment, and I had no family or partner.”

The former reality star went on to express her gratitude for the blessings in her life, and how she tries to model that appreciation for her daughter by helping others.

“I’ve always been fortunate to have a roof over my head and a place to sleep—something many people cannot say, which makes this time of year happy for some and so sad and scary for so many others,” she wrote. “I try to do my part and to give back to help others and make some meaning of the success and platform I’ve been given. I try to teach my daughter about compassion and generosity and I really want her to understand how fortunate she is and how much of a struggle life can be for others.”

Woman on a mission

While Frankel has plenty of professional projects in the works, including the development of several television shows with Mark Burnett, the Skinnygirl founder has been focused on her philanthropic endeavors through her charitable organization, bstrong. Most recently arranging funds for the victims of the Amazon rainforest fires, as well as delivering aid to those affected by Hurricane Dorian, Frankel’s priority is now on her mission to support those in need.

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It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t afford to take a taxi from my apartment uptown to downtown. I would go to the ATM to get $40 & an “insufficient funds” slip would pop out. I bounced checks, which would then affect other checks I’d written & I would panic over those fees. Then, I would beg the person on the phone for mercy. This was also when I lived alone in my studio apartment, and I had no family or partner. . That said, I’ve always been fortunate to have a roof over my head and a place to sleep—something many people cannot say, which makes this time of year happy for some and so sad and scary for so many others. I try to do my part and to give back to help others and make some meaning of the success and platform I’ve been given. I try to teach my daughter about compassion and generosity and I really want her to understand how fortunate she is and how much of a struggle life can be for others. . When traveling to disaster-struck areas, the most compelling memory is that, no matter how destitute and horrific the situation, the ones surrounded by their families and loved ones have a hope, faith, and happiness that is way stronger than the world’s wealthiest person who feels alone. . To be able to create meaningful and rare experiences and memories for myself and Bryn gives meaning to having worked so hard for so many years. Having spent holidays alone and having no rent money and bouncing checks makes me appreciate what I have now—but truly makes me realize that the most important thing in life is LOVE. . Giving to others and sharing with the people you love is literally priceless. . Happy Holidays! Xo ❣️‍♀️✨❌⭕️ . #Priceless #LOVE #HappyHolidays #APlaceOfYes #MommyAndMe #FamTime

A post shared by Bethenny Frankel (@bethennyfrankel) on

She commented on her experiences witnessing the aftermath of these disastrous events, and how being surrounded by family and friends can carry you through even the toughest of times. “When traveling to disaster-struck areas, the most compelling memory is that, no matter how destitute and horrific the situation, the ones surrounded by their families and loved ones have a hope, faith, and happiness that is way stronger than the world’s wealthiest person who feels alone,” she revealed.

She concluded her post by calling attention to the true meaning of the holiday season, and encouraged followers to maintain that spirit each day. “To be able to create meaningful and rare experiences and memories for myself and Bryn gives meaning to having worked so hard for so many years,” she wrote. “Having spent holidays alone and having no rent money and bouncing checks makes me appreciate what I have now—but truly makes me realize that the most important thing in life is LOVE. Giving to others and sharing with the people you love is literally priceless.”

Well said Bethenny!