Bethenny Frankel says she was broke and on her own when she auditioned for "Real Housewives of New York" in order "to be known as an entrepreneur and a businessperson." Though every lawyer and every agent told her the Bravo reality show was a mistake, Frankel used her notoriety to pitch investors on the Skinnygirl margarita, a low-calorie cocktail she dreamed up in her kitchen. With the help of one industry pro who believed in her vision, Frankel brought her product to market in less than six months, then sold the brand to Beam Global Spirits & Wine for a reported $120 million.

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Inc. magazine

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