Stassi Schroeder: Why Being Basic Is Good Business
As a New York Times bestselling author, television personality, and podcast host, Vanderpump Rules star Stassi Schroeder embraces being a multi-hyphenate being as much as she embraces her love for ranch dressing.
For the past eight years, Stassi has shown viewers the good and bad on reality TV and leveraged her honest voice to connect with and empower her community. I caught up with Stassi in Los Angeles to discuss the lessons she’s learned as an entrepreneur and how to have fun and celebrate yourself along the way.
Kate Talbot: What lesson do you have from writing your book, Next Level Basic?
Stassi Schroeder: I've learned that it is so important to be honest. So many people want to write something, whether it's a memoir or self-help, etc., and there's this urge and inclination to be aspirational — but aspirational isn't always the way to connect. I think people want to hear about success and how to get there whether it's a relationship or in business, but I believe that by talking about your failures and your embarrassing moments or times that you messed up, that's been the biggest lesson I learned from writing a book.
The parts where I wrote about, especially in the last chapter, things I did wrong and mistakes that I learned from, I was like, "Should I write this? I don't know. It's scary. I'm not sure." And it was the hardest one to write, but it gave it the heart that it needed.
Talbot: How have people taken the message of embracing being basic in your book?
Schroeder: People come up to me and say, "Thank you for giving me the confidence just to be myself. If I want to go on a first date and talk about Harry Potter, I'm going to."
Talbot: Are you writing a second book?
Schroeder: I am. I'm in the middle of it, and it's so much harder this time. Next Level Basic did so well; the pressure is so much heavier. For Next Level Basic, I had such a clear vision. It had been something that I had been thinking about for years. So then, just to ultimately come up with something new. It's a little messier, and I feel the heat and the pressure on it, but it's exciting.
Talbot: When is your second book coming out?
Schroeder: April 2021.
Talbot: You’ve been touring the country on your Straight Up with Stassi podcast tour, what takeaway have you found from the experience?
Schroeder: I've realized the power of connecting with people because I do meet and greets with podcast listeners. They tell me, "I listen to you all the time. You're with me when I'm driving my car. You're with me when I'm at work." And the power in just connecting with people is intense and cool.
I put out podcast episodes, and then I never see anyone's reaction to it. I don't ever see their faces. And to be able to meet everyone and talk to everyone and watch them in the audience and see what they react to is incredible.
Talbot: What have you learned from being one of the first reality stars to start a podcast?
Schroeder: A lot. I started this podcast because on a reality show, it's a very small portrayal of who I am, and I wanted to do something where I could just fully be myself unedited. I want to connect by being myself. I know that every podcast or radio show I listen to, I relate to the people who are the most real, and that's what I wanted to provide for other people.
Talbot: What are you most excited about for this season of Vanderpump Rules?
Schroeder: My proposal.
Talbot: And how is wedding planning going?
Schroeder: Right when I got engaged, I thought that I was going to be this OCD bride who was controlling. I quickly realized that, no, I don't have time. I bought a house, am going on a tour, produce my podcast, and I'm writing this book. Wedding planning is down on the bottom of the list. I've left that to wedding planners!
Talbot: What advice would you give to young women who are starting on their journey, whether they want to start a podcast, be a writer, or anything that you've done in the spotlight?
Schroeder: Be committed and practice honesty. Honesty is the biggest thing when it comes to everything that you do. Not even just pertaining to business, with relationships. I just feel like the more transparent you are, if you're starting a company, say something you sell, being transparent about what that is I think is so important—transparency in everything that you do. People want the truth. They don't want to be fooled. We don't have time for that anymore. So any woman trying to start anything, be authentic, be honest, be transparent.