Each week CNBC's "Raising the Bar" series will provide insight into the minds of business leaders as they talk candidly in some of Manhattan's most interesting watering holes about everything from making mistakes to making it big.
Maybe yes, maybe no, but she's certainly done it on a grander scale than anyone else.
Multi-hyphenate, Bethenny Frankel—founder & CEO of SkinnyGirl, reality TV star, best-selling author, natural foods chef and mom—sat down with Marc Murphy, owner of Benchmarc Restaurants, chef/judge on "Chopped," and now author of "Season With Authority," at the beautiful Brandy Library in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood. And the talk got real really quickly: TV vs. real life personas (and how that helps, or hurts, in business). Real vs, professional "focus testing," and the really hard work of building a brand.
"I just don't think that people now—especially in this generation—work that hard," said Frankel. "They don't get how hard it is…."
Both agree that being on television, while risky, has helped their businesses, even though it can be a double-edged sword. Frankel said: "Sometimes it's like making a deal with the devil … this is the life we chose … you can't start complaining when it's not good, when you've ridden this amazing ride." Murphy, who's also benefited businesswise from being a judge on a popular Food Network series, reveals that sometimes an unhappy restaurant patron will recommend that he get "Chopped."
So how do you stay relevant in a trend-filled business where the "next big thing" is speeding up behind you? Frankel doesn't think about it. "I just think I am relevant. And if I'm irrelevant, it's time, I'll call the fight." For Murphy, he said, it's a little different: "I hope to God I'm always relevant. I mean, I hope everyone's going to still eat."
If you're looking for an education in whiskey and brandy, or just a sampling of some of the world's finest, Brandy Library boasts one of the most comprehensive collections in the world of both. Owner and COO Flavien Desoblin, who conducts classes in all things spirituous, has some advice on how to approach a tasting:
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