INT 040 – Learning to say “No” and be okay with it

Linda Yates

Regardless of your career, there will always be times you need to say “no.” But even though it’s a necessary skill, many people find it difficult to apply in either personal or professional situations. In today’s episode, Linda is joined by the CEO of Cleo+Coco Suzannah Raff to learn how to say “no” and be okay with it.

Suzannah has worn many hats throughout her professional career.

  • After finishing graduate school, Suzannah worked in high technology before pivoting to a tech startup.
  • She later received a degree in social work, but eventually launched her brand Cleo+Coco, where she is the current CEO.
  • Cleo+Coco makes clean and luxurious personal care products, transforming the personal care industry by putting “care” back in personal care.

She’s said “no” in virtually all of these career steps.

  • As a brand founder, she has values for her product that are integral to her company. 
  • She found that manufacturers will offer a cheaper alternative ingredient that isn’t as clean or pure, and Suzannah has to hold firm and say no in those instances.
  • As a Sabbath-observant Jewish woman, Suzannah doesn’t look at her phone or computer during Sabbath. She’s had business opportunities occur within that timeframe that she’s had to turn down (like going on air for QVC) because they went against her values.
  • But Suzannah doesn’t feel guilty about saying no because these instances go against core values she has for herself and her life.

How can someone learn to say no?

  • It’s much easier to say yes and keep the peace because saying no can cause conflict. But to start saying no, Suzannah has three strategies:
  • Stop and think about the situation. 
  • Compile a list of your important values, and refuse anything that goes against those values. You can make this list by asking yourself where you’re at now, where you want to be, and what it will take to get you there.) Start off by writing everything that comes to mind, and then narrow it down to your top ten.
  • Instead of saying “no,” determine the smoothest route to accomplish the same goal. This could be explaining why you can’t do it, saying complimentary things about the situation, or developing a compromise.

When to say “yes” instead of “no”:

  • If the opportunity or problem doesn’t go against anything on your list, ask yourself why you want to say no in the first place; the opportunity might be a chance to push yourself.
  • Suzannah says yes anytime something is within her bandwidth and brings value to someone else. But remember, it must be within your bandwidth to be worth it. 

To get in contact with Suzannah, connect with her on LinkedIn and visit her company website. Do you have stories to tell? Connect with Linda to share them. This podcast is produced by TSE Studios. Check out other podcasts by TSE Studios, including this episode’s sponsor, The Sales Evangelist, helping new and struggling sellers close more deals and achieving their sales goals.

Subscribe to the IntHERrupt Podcast so you won’t miss a single show. Find us on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher. Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen Productions

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