Jul 26, 2021
Regardless of your profession or career, there will always be
times you need to say no. But even though it is a necessary skill,
many people find it difficult to say no in personal or professional
situations. In today’s episode, Linda is joined by the CEO of Cleo
and Coco Suzannah Raff to learn how to say “no” and be okay with
Suzannah has worn many hats throughout her professional
- After receiving an MA in business, Suzannah worked in high
technology before pivoting to a tech startup that eventually went
- She later went on to receive another MA in social work and
worked another five years before launching her brand Cleo and Coco,
where she is the current CEO.
- Cleo and Coco make clean and luxurious personal care products,
transforming the personal care industry by putting “care” back in
She’s had to say “no” in virtually all of these career
- As a brand founder, she has values for her product that she
- She found that manufacturers will say they can produce her
products more cheaply by using an alternative ingredient that isn’t
as clean or pure. Suzannah has to hold firm and say no in those
- As a Sabbath-observant Jewish woman, Suzannah doesn’t look at
her phone or computer for 24 hours, starting at sundown each
Friday. She has had huge 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 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 (saying no can
cause conflict.) But to start saying no, Suzannah has three
- Stop and think about the situation or problem.
- Have a list of your values and what is important to you. Run it
against your list of values, and if it goes against any of them say
- Instead of saying “no,” determine the smoothest route to
accomplish the same goal. Explain why you can’t do it, say
complimentary things about it, come up with another solution or
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
- The opportunity might be a chance to push yourself and try
- Suzannah also says yes anytime something is within her
bandwidth and brings value to someone else. But remember, it must
be within your bandwidth for it to be worth it.
How did Suzannah discover her values?
She makes lists for any major life decisions she has to
Where is she at now? Where does she want to be? What does she
need to do to get there?
Have a brainstorming session with yourself, write down all of
your ideas, and turn it into a list of your top 10
What would you say to someone struggling to say no after saying
Sometimes just talking it out with somebody might make you feel
better. Recognize that there are times you just need to set a
boundary, find a friend, and vent to them to get it out of your
Barrier looking to break?
Access to capital for female founders.
Less than 10% of venture capital goes to female founders.
SHe’s interrupted her own career a couple of times
Throughout those interruptions, how has overcoming them been
Beginnings are always difficult, but Suzannah enjoys the
challenge and likes starting new things.
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.
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Spotify, and Stitcher. Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen