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Kat Cole, force behind billion-dollar Cinnabon brand, shares 3 top business tips

A used-to-be Hooter's waitress who would eventually end up turning Cinnabon into a billion dollar brand: It sounds like the plot of a made-for-TV movie.

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How ex-Hooters waitress turned Cinnabon into a $1 billon brand

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How ex-Hooters waitress turned Cinnabon into a $1 billon brand

Play Video - 5:08

But, believe it or not, it's actually the real-life story of Kat Cole, the 37-year-old business mogul whose creative ideas and marketing ploys helped Cinnabon accelerate into the mega-force it is today.

RELATED: Kathy Ireland's secrets to building a billion-dollar brand

In many ways, Cole's story is the perfect embodiment of the American Dream. After leading the thirty-year-old Cinnabon franchise across the billion dollar threshold, she became the Group President of Focus Brands, where she's hoping to make the same miracles happen with all six of the companies under the organization's umbrella.

TODAY; @cinnabon/twitter
Kat Cole led the thirty-year-old Cinnabon franchise across the billion dollar threshold.

At the helm of such enormous and successful businesses, Cole is now looking to help other Americans achieve the very same things. She sat down with TODAY to share her three rules of business.

1. Be honest, and be authentic.

"And confident in who you are," she told TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager. "Because ultimately it's all that's going to differentiate you in the marketplace."

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel gets real about women in business: 'Be on top of it'

2. Stay 'incredibly close' to the customer.

"They have all the answers," she told Hager.

3. Do the right thing.

And do it for the right reasons. "Use that to guide who you partner with, what products you launch, whether or not you take funding externally," she concluded.

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How Kathy Ireland went from supermodel to business mogul

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How Kathy Ireland went from supermodel to business mogul

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