Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 03 October 2019

Brighton Based Entrepreneur Reveals How She Views A Lifelong Learning Difficulty As A Bonus

Brighton-based Carlene Jackson saw the potential of cloud technology early and went on to build a thriving consultancy business with twenty staff. Below she talks about partnering with Microsoft, staff and apprenticeships and how a 'learning difficulty' has made her a better entrepreneur. 
Carleen Jackson

"I consider my dyslexia to be a gift that's helped me in business," says Carlene Jackson, founder and CEO of Cloud9 Insight. 

"If you're dyslexic, you can never truly fail, because you simply accept that succeeding first time may not happen so you're going to have to find a way around the problem."  

Indeed, many famous and successful entrepreneurs are or have been dyslexic; Richard Branson, Lord Alan Sugar, Anita Roddick, Walt Disney and Henry Ford were all reportedly diagnosed with the condition. 

Research suggests dyslexia is disproportionately found among entrepreneurs. 

"You learn differently, see the world differently and these things are very useful when you're an entrepreneur," Jackson adds. 

Born in Dublin, Jackson moved to Brighton as a teenager and started out in business aged seventeen, running a catering franchise in a pub. 

"I learned the hard way that catering is a tough way to make money."

 Jackson trained as an air traffic controller, but it was at this time she found out she was dyslexic. 

"Air traffic control isn't a very good job for a dyslexic like me. 


"If you don't instruct planes to turn the right direction, they might crash, so I abandoned that idea," she laughs.  

So Jackson entered the corporate world, learned sales at IBM and moved into the growing field of customer relationship management (CRM) software. 

"My biggest strength is sales strategy. I'm pretty quick to understand customers, connect with them drive change and help companies set a vision."  

But it was when cloud computing began to emerge that Jackson saw the chance to realise her ambitions and become an entrepreneur. 

"My brother is a serial entrepreneur, he encouraged me to stop making millions for others and make it for myself. 

"Microsoft, at that time, was getting lots of attention with a cloud-based CRM solution for the UK market, which had previously only been on-premise. 

"I saw there was a big opportunity there, so I seized the moment to start a new business focused on Microsoft Dynamics, and have never looked back since."  

Carlene founded Cloud9 Insight in 2010 along with Nigel Ridpath, who she later bought out, and has grown to over twenty staff. 

The company is on target to reach £2m turnover in 2019 and has gained over six-hundred clients. 

However, there have been a number of challenges along the way. In particular, transitioning from working with enterprise clients to its SME base. 

"We sell to small and medium sized businesses and so it's the owner's money you are spending. 

"I had to quickly learn how to adjust to this as I had only ever sold to Enterprise clients before." 

Jackson says the company's close relationship with Microsoft and ability to deliver its solutions has been key. 

"If you were to call up Microsoft about CRM systems, there's a very good chance they would refer you to us," she says.  

The development of staff has always been a big driver for Jackson, with her skills winning her several industry awards for investing in people. 

Cloud9 is also an apprenticeship provider to the tech industry and is set to receive government accreditation in Autumn 2019.  

"I'm proud of the fact that many of the people I have recruited have not worked in the tech sector before and I have coached them to the success they have achieved. 

"I am passionate to help people fulfill their potential and dreams – being an apprenticeship provider will help us achieve this even further." 

by: Mike Cobley




Share    

Credit Mark Senior

Are you a busker? Would you like to swap the streets of Brighton for the plush surroundings of Theatre Royal Brighton?

Lilla Vargen, who visits Komedia Brighton, in April, has released a hard-hitting video for her current release, Cold, which depicts a young woman trapped in a controlling and abusive relationship, struggling with the conflicting emotions that come with this situation

London-via-Pembrokeshire songwriter Penniless Cove (aka Phoebe) has always taken a left field approach to creating music. 

"It's the reason I'm here on earth and I'm quite happy and comfortable with that. I don't need to analyse it, I just need to get on and do it. And do it the best I can" Paul Weller was talking in 2014 about his decades long career  A journey that's still ongoing and fruitful, as the Modfather announces he will bring new music to The Brighton Centre, this autumn. 

For London singer-songwriter Eloise Viola, the last year has been a powerful lesson in self-belief to achieve your goals

Ten Times Table is heading to Theatre Royal Brighton, next month, and Robin Herford, the acclaimed director best known for the The Woman In Black, tells us about his new production of Alan Ayckbourn's committee comedy.

TJ Walker, who plays four dates across Sussex, in March & April, is a multi-talented Country/Americana singer, guitarist and songwriter, living on a river delta in the Deep South of... the United Kingdom!
Credit Idil Sukan

Award-winning comedian Ed Byrne, who plays Brighton Dome this March, is a household name who enjoys worldwide acclaim for his stand-up. With twenty-five years under his belt, Ed has parlayed his on-stage success into a variety of notable television appearances. 

Brighton's Creature Creature have used their downtime, since sharing festival stages with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and The Hives, by recording their forthcoming debut album, Two Finger Tantrum
Credit Mark Senior

When Once first appeared in cinemas thirteen years ago, a low budget Irish independent film shot with just $160,000, it was one of the more modest premieres of the season. But the story, of a Dublin street busker and a Czech musician whose passion for music sparks a unique love story, quickly took hold of audiences and hasn't let go since.

Hayley Ross lives by the sea in Brighton, grew up in Walton-on- Thames, has spent time in the Caribbean, and is right now renovating a fishing trawler to live on in Newhaven. 
Credit Matt Stronge

Brighton-born stand-up Robin Morgan is a father to his son and a son to his father. But what makes a good male role model? In his new show, which is coming to Komedia Brighton, in April, the comedian is calling out the double standards that set the bar so low to be a 'good dad' and exploring the gender roles forced on our children from conception.
Credit Frederike Wetzels

German Art-Pop band, Giant Rooks are set to arrive in Brighton, this spring, on the back of new single Watershed; a melancholy banger that begins with a reverb laced piano hook before launching in a beautiful slice of angular indie disco.
Credit Robert Day

“The story is about people coming together and how we are stronger together than apart, that's the message,” says author Alex Wheatle, of Crongton Knights, which heads to Theatre Royal Brighton, in March. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd