Reality show entrepreneurs and business owners, from Richard Blais to Rosie Pope, share the biggest mistakes they made on camera.

  • 1Kathryn Ireland

    © Roger Davies 2012

    Show: “Million Dollar Decorators”
    Business: Kathryn M. Ireland Textiles and Design
    Biggest mistake: Not thinking about hair, makeup and clothing. “You look seven times bigger than you are if you don’t wear the right colors and the right clothes,” says Ireland.
    Quote: “What you wish you hadn’t said is what they’ll use on air.”

  • 2Richard Blais

    Show: “Life After Top Chef”
    Business: The Spence, Flip Burger Boutique, HD1
    Biggest mistake: “Outside of losing, there’s nothing I’d change,” says Blais, referring to his original appearance on “Top Chef” season 4.
    Quote: “The second time was interesting on the “Top Chef: All Stars” season. It was a cast that was a little more savvy with the business of TV, and had more concerns about, ‘What if I win, or lose, or say the wrong thing, or look too fat or too skinny.’”

  • 3Rosie Pope

    Show: “Pregnant in Heels”
    Business: Rosie Pope Maternity
    Biggest mistake: Not letting the audience see her true self at first. “You either have to embrace who you are and go for it, which I think the audience genuinely appreciates, or try and be someone else, which I think is never a success,” says Pope.
    Quote: On whether she’d do the show over again: “With a lot of coffee, yes!  But seriously, absolutely, no matter how difficult at times, it is ultimately a blessing and amazing platform.”

  • 4Sarah Austin

    Show: “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley”
    Business: Pop17
    Biggest mistake: Not taking acting classes or preparing enough. “I would have taken acting lessons, and played a character which would have been the best version of myself, so there would never be filmed anything that’s not the best version of myself,” says Austin.
    Quote: “I looked at Bethenny [Frankel]: she’s made this work for her, which is why I decided to do reality TV. It was worth a shot, but I knew if I was part of a failed reality show it would be a disaster.”

  • 5David Murray

    Show: “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley”
    Business: GoalSponsors
    Biggest mistake: No mistakes here! Murray says it’s a shame that the show was viewed as a failure, because it got more viewers on Bravo than shows considered successes on other networks.
    Quote: “When I was on camera, it was distracting from my coding work. It was a commitment of ten hours a week, but it still gave me 40-50 hours a week coding. And it provided me a modest amount of money to essentially survive while programming.”

  • 6Fabio Viviani

    All Rights Reserved by Jason Little 2013

    Show: “Life After Top Chef”
    Business: Café Firenze, Firenze Osteria
    Biggest mistake: Trying to act on the show. “I learned to keep it cool and not try to act or overdo it. TV is going to end!” says Viviani
    Quote: “Life is not about how good you are, it’s about how bad you want it. If you can dream it, you’ll achieve it, and if it doesn’t work, you didn’t want to make it work – it’s not because of the weather or the economy.”

Follow Gabrielle Karol on Twitter @GabrielleKarol