CertClean’s Jenise Lee calls saying no the key to success for time-strapped entrepreneurs

Jenise Lee wants you to imagine a scenario where you’re ready to launch your startup and put yourself out there, when something horrible happens.

The CertClean founder and CEO, speaking at December’s TechTO, said that this was her a year ago: her brother died, a few months before she planned to launch her company.

“What does that mean for my capacity? I waver between zero percent to 75 percent; there were days I didn’t get out of bed. I was dealing with anxiety. I was devastated inside and out,” Lee said.

Knowing she isn’t alone (72 percent of entrepreneurs report being affected by mental health conditions), Lee shared some insight into how to get things done when you have no energy and it feels like the work keeps piling on.

A few key pieces of advice that helped Lee get things done including saying no to your own idea — and saying no to everything.

“The market may not need your tech solution…so talk to your ‘customers’. Conventional wisdom is always to talk to your customers, but I’m saying, ‘customers’ because you shouldn’t have an idea or solution you’re trying to sell. Because whatever you do, the questions are already biased,” Lee said.

Lee added that entrepreneurs should say no to everything, and find out what your one key metric is. “Everything else is a distraction…the only key metric that mattered to me was certifying products, because that’s what I do as a company. That’s traction.”

Watch the whole talk below:

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