10 Life Lessons From Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks

Phaedra Parks, most known for her role on the hit reality TV series Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), reveals how being a southern belle and creating multiple revenue streams led to her success as a business woman. In her book, Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment, Phaedra gives you a no-nonsense guide to life for people of all backgrounds. Take some pointers from our 2013 BET interview below.

1. Confidence Makes All the Difference. It’s a power trait and one of the defining factors of both a boss and a southern belle.”The belle has an aura of confidence [and] tranquility … so when they walk into the room they own it and they don’t own it through aggression and being loud they just glide.”  


2. Think Global. Brick and mortars are nice, online sales are better. “A book can reach the masses. A charm school can only reach people who can afford to attend the school and are in that area.”


3. Diversify Your Hustle. You can’t become rich off of a service based business no matter how many clients/customers you have. Why? Because there’s only one you, and you are a limited resource. Instead, create digital products so you can share and teach what you know on a larger scale without ever having to be physically present. “I got 50 jobs. I can’t just teach charm school honey. I gotta just write you a book.”


4. Practice Advanced Table Manners. Even though you may not go out to fancy restaurants often (or at all) doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t master advanced table manners. Knowing proper table settings and etiquette is invaluable. You should “automatically know where the bread and the drink belong.”


5. Learn How to “Check” Someone With Your Words. There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to be “nice nasty” and throw polite shade in order to get your point across. Knowing how to put someone in their place without being rude is a transferrable skill, and everyone should acquire it. Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.


6. Keep Creating. You can not rest on your laurels/past successes. Creativity is a muscle that you have to exercise daily in order to keep new ideas and opportunities flowing. “I have a new book in the works … I’m never not exploring new ventures. It doesn’t stop.”


7. Seek Ownership. Why rent a house when you can own one? There’s nothing better than having something that no one can take away from you. “If I’m going to delve into something I’m gunna have ownership. I want to be able to make a profit, I want to be able to have the ultimate say-so. I wanna be the controlling figure in the actual establishment.”


8. Learn Before You Do. Prior to embarking on a new venture you should always take time out to educate yourself on how to be successful in that space from those who been there done that. Why pass up on the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others? “Everybody has to sit up under someone and learn.”


9. Believe In Yourself . “At some point in time you have to step out on your own.” Don’t let all of the research you’ve done, competition and “horror” stories paralyze you into self doubt. How do you expect others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?


10. Give Back. There is no such thing as self-made. We all are a culmination of investments that others have made in us. Lift as you climb. Don’t become so successful that you forget to give back and stay “connected to home.”


Enjoyed my interview with Phaedra? There’s more where that came from.  Watch this bonus clip from our interview below on Phaedra possibly doing a show with BET and her relationship with Tameka "Tiny" Harris and Toya Wright.

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