Hands off my hot sauce.

I met a client for brunch the other day, and she sprinkled hot sauce on her eggs. After a few moments, the waiter swooped by to take the hot sauce away.

Very politely—but firmly—my client said, “You aren’t trying to take my hot sauce, are you? Please leave it. I am still using it.”

He backed away. The hot sauce remained.

It was such a small, ordinary, everyday type of moment. But something about that encounter felt “bigger” than just scrambled eggs and hot sauce. I think it’s because I witnessed a woman holding her ground—powerfully and calmly—without any hesitation, justification, or apologies attached. And how often do you actually get to see that happening?

She didn’t say:

“Oh sorry, actually, I just need the hot sauce for another moment.”

She didn’t say:

“Oh, um, sure, I guess I’m done with it.”

She didn’t say:


She said: 

“Please leave it. I am still using it.”

I almost erupted into a round of applause. 

This week, I encourage you to pay extra-close attention to the way that you talk about your preferences, desires, and boundaries… AND the way that you respond when people don’t listen, or when people overstep the limits you’ve set. 

Is your “default mode” to shift into an apologetic tone? 

Do you feel the need to “justify” or “explain” why you want the things that you want? 

Do you insert “sorry” into the beginning of almost every sentence? 

Do you scan the room to make sure that every single person has plenty of hot sauce (literal or metaphorical) before you even think about getting your own?

Notice those types of things, because they’re not insignificant. They’re important.

Challenge yourself to “hold your ground” and “speak up” just a little bit more than you typically do. This can be as simple as saying, “I’m not done with that yet…” or “I wasn’t finished speaking…” or “Here’s an interesting piece of research you might not be aware of.”

These shifts in your communication may seem subtle, but the impact is HUGE.

Hold your ground, ladies. Stand tall and proud. Speak clearly and firmly. And don’t release that bottle of Tabasco until you’re good and finished with it—and not a moment sooner. 


It’s not just a new hashtag. It’s a way of life.

P.S. Happy New Year, peeps! Let’s slay 2017!

xoxo, Susan


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