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Monday
May302016

Phoenix Jackson: A Marketing Expert's Message

Listening to your intuition is good business, according to Phoenix Jackson, owner of Phoenix Affect, Inc. Photo: Shanae Simmons. Turning those dime-a-dozen business ideas into competitive ventures in the marketplace requires more than a business plan and funding. It requires that entrepreneurs also be open to listening to their intuition, according to longtime business owner and marketing expert, Phoenix Jackson. 

"Money is not enough of a reason to pursue a business," says the owner of Phoenix Affect, Inc., a marketing and project management firm that she co-founded 11 years ago while earning a business degree at the University of Denver. "You need to know why you are in business.

"Your enthusiasm and aspirations will be necessary to see you through the ups and down of operating a business."

Through her company, formerly known as Nation Marketing Group, Jackson has helped to create the brand and public face of more than 100 individuals and businesses including celebrities, professional athletes, and small and large organizations. The company's services include business consulting, marketing and brand development, website development and event planning. 

Best practices from her career are detailed in her upcoming book, "Spirit of Business." Scheduled for release in the fall, the book offers tactical tools and worksheets on how business professionals can achieve what they want to manifest. 

Just turning the corner into her 30s, when she stands in front of an audience speaking about her upcoming book or marketing services, her successes all appear to have come easy. That perception would be the furthest thing from the truth for the woman who started practicing meditation and yoga at the age of 19. "I work hard to protect my peace and set aside time to listen to my intuition," says the self-proclaimed optimist, who tends to "feel that something good is always about to happen."

Raised by a single father from the age of eight, she experienced a lot of coming of age issues without her mother's guidance. Her father was a blessing, but she did miss a mother's touch. The Arkansas native moved around a bit with her father, who was in the military, and lived in Kentucky before arriving to Denver at the age of 12.  Later in her academic life, she juggled being a mother, a wife, student and entrepreneur. When she experienced divorce and became a single mom she had to adjust her lifestyle while staying on track with her life goals. 

The 2004 Daniels Fund Scholar earned the 2008 Daniels College of Business' Entrepreneur of the Year award for her efforts to start her own marketing firm with a new-born son at the time. Not long after graduating, she used her spare time and a grant from the Denver Foundation to spearhead a dance health initiative - building on African dance -- for women in northeast Denver that included daycare services. Her alma mater noticed and asked her to bring her curriculum to campus. Soon, at the age of 26, she was an adjunct faculty member at the DU Colorado Women's College. 

"Teaching was so fulfilling," says Jackson, who has since served as a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities in the state, and as a speaker at national events outside of academia. "I enjoyed teaching adults to nurture themselves and to love themselves. At the end of each quarter, women were crying about how much they had learned about themselves and their power over their bodies and their mind. I learned at that time that I'm happiest when I'm teaching."

Phoenix Jackson, the director of client relations for Phoenix Affect, Inc., tells women to understand the "why" of their business goals. Photo: Courtesy of Phoenix Jackson.Her teaching experiences have provided a taste of her end-goal to be a professor or professional lecturer, but for now she continues to make strides in the business world. In 2014, she was nominated for Denver Business Journal's Forty Under 40. The prior year, she was nominated for DBJ's Outstanding Business Women Award. These recognitions, among many others, speak to the personal touch she invests in her work with her clients. 

For five years, she has provided marketing services to Carson J Spencer Foundation, a Denver-based organization that works to prevent suicide using innovative methods to address root causes of suicide in schools, homes and businesses. Her company has produced the foundation's promotional collateral and developed their website, helping the organization grow within its brand. Now the organization is international including Australia and Europe.

She has also received mental health certifications to better inform her guiding role as a volunteer educator within the organization and as a board member, formerly serving as its chair of marketing and public relations.
 
Her marketing work with another client, the annual Helping Boys Thrive Summit, is two-fold, educating her as a single mom and informing leaders who work with youth. The annual event, scheduled to happen in Denver on June 9 at Regis High School, is tailored toward adults teaching adults how to deal with young men and boys of all races and socioeconomic level from the classroom to the playground.  

A Void in the Market
Jackson has combined her marketing expertise with her continuing desire to see women healthy internally and externally. In 2014, she created Phitnus, a fitness series offering dance classes led by certified instructors. The series also offers DVDs and multivitamins. With the latter, she specifically honed in on the void in the market as it relates to African American women.

"The market was saturated with soaps and lotions, but there were little to no vitamin bottles with black women on them," says Jackson, who worked with a vitamin company in California to develop ingredients for her products. She began shipping in 2015, and has clients as far as West Africa.

Today, like many women who are starting a new product business, her dining room table has become a mini-factory. The bottles are already full and secure when they come to her, but she likes to put her own special touch on the packaging before shipping them out to customers. Like many entrepreneurs, she says, "At the beginning you are investing more than what you are getting back." 

But she keeps going, because she focuses on her "why."

"I always tell women to seek that inspiration. Look at the why," she says. "Ask yourself 'What do I want?' and be prepared to work towards your goal one step at a time."

Learn more about Jackson's work at Phoenix Affect.