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Meet Marissa Layton of Next Level in North Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Layton.

Marissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been passionate about personal and leadership development. All throughout my life, I found myself in leadership roles. It started as a passion that grew into a profession. When I began my Master’s Program in Organizational Leadership, my ultimate goal was to get into Nonprofit Management; however, I was introduced to consulting and executive coaching and instantly fell in love!

This was my opportunity to take everything I had been doing for years – developing people and helping them grow into effective leaders – and translate those skills to business and organizational development. I starting working in the consulting industry but wanted a more genuine connection with clients. I believe that consulting and coaching primarily is a relationship; in order to get the best results for your client you have to be truly invested and willing to build a genuine connection with them. However, many consulting firms do not show genuine interest in their clients’ success. This is demonstrated by the fact that once a strategy is created or a solution provided, the consultant disappears – no assistance in strategy implementation, no guidance through executing the solution, their job is considered “done.” I wanted to change that! I wanted to do consulting differently by actually working with my client every step of the way through creation, implementation, and execution.

As my consulting firm expanded, I had a lot of business owners (primarily millennial women of color) reach out for my consulting services but could not afford them. This inspired me to begin business coaching. I utilize my skills as an entrepreneur as well as my experiences as a consultant to provide premium services and expert advice to current and aspiring entrepreneurs at more affordable rates. My goal is to provide opportunity to those who otherwise would not be afforded those resources or knowledge. Adding coaching services has really allowed me to build my personal brand. At Next Level, my team and I provide business solutions to medium to large size enterprises all along the East Coast looking for strategic planning, organizational development, leadership training, or project management. In association with my company, I also provide 1-on-1 coaching services to current and aspiring entrepreneurs all around the country looking to launch or grow their businesses. In addition, I have digital products geared toward the millennial entrepreneur. My ultimate goal is to help people master monetizing off of their passions while encouraging them to step into their purpose.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to success is not straight and definitely not smooth! There is a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, caution lights called family, and flat tires called jobs. BUT if you have a spare called determination, an engine called perseverance, and a driver called will power, YOU WILL MAKE IT to a place called success.

I have been homeless, broke, lost, confused, and so much more. I have used everything I have been through as motivation to keep striving and keep thriving.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Next Level – what should we know?
Next Level Consulting is a firm that prides itself in doing consulting differently. At Next Level, we are not going to only assess the problem and provide a solution. We believe in following through with the client, step-by-step until the achievement of an effective and successful end occurs. Next Level Consulting Firm builds relationships with clients and truly serves as a trusted adviser. We offer five main services – strategic planning, organizational development, leadership development, executive leadership coaching, and project management.

· Strategic Planning for your organization will articulate current organizational state, where your organization is going, steps and actions needed to progress, and methods to measuring effectiveness. One of the strategies we use is called scanning to evaluate societal, technological, economical, environmental, and political aspects that can positively or negatively affect your business in the upcoming years.

· Through Organizational Development, Next Level assists organizations in managing conflict effectively, improving performance, increasing collaboration, and confronting problems. We utilize the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument to identify important organizational aspects that enable our team to provide the best results for effective change management.

· Next Level can help you build trust within your organization, clarify values, take risks, and much more through leadership development. To effectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organizational team, we conduct a Strategic Team Review and Action Tool, also known as STRAT assessment.

· Next Level places executives in a position to be self-reliant through coaching. Instead of providing solutions, Next Level works closely with leadership and helps them to think through problem-solving.

· Through Project Management, Next Level focuses on goals, resources, and schedules to help organizations create and/ or execute projects that align with their organizational mission.

As the founder and CEO, I have over a decade of experience in leadership development, program implementation, and project management. I utilize those skills to lead projects with the end goal in mind and a focus on growing people. I emphasize to my team the importance of follow-through. Here at Next Level, we do not believe in only providing strategy creation; we believe a major component of effective consulting is strategy implementation and execution. Our clients do not just sign up for a strategic plan or a new training procedure. Our clients sign up for a team of experts that are committed to seeing change in their organization every step of the way. Whether taking a leap or moving step-by-step, let us take you to the Next Level!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My faith! I’m willing to risk it all! Do I experience fear? Of course! Do I doubt myself at times before a new business venture? Who wouldn’t! But when it boils down to it – no fear or insecurity is going to stop me from full fledge moving forward. I know my purpose. I have activated my calling. Not only am I a woman with a vision but I have a plan and a strategy. I wholeheartedly believe that everything I commit to produce will succeed, so I am willing to risk whatever I have to to make it work. My ROI is always more rewarding than whatever I lose!

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