Dr. Constance “C.J.” Leyland is passionate about creating sustainable and viable relationships through collaboration. She has been a Dean for two Universities both on the ground and online in San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV, Irvine, CA, and various states within the United States. She has a Doctorate in Business Administration specializing in International Business. She has an MBA specializing in Management. She is almost graduating with her 2nd master’s in Information Technology, specializing in Cyber Security. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Business Administration. She has taught K-12 and the Higher Education industry. She has also worked in the Banking, Insurance, Real Estate, Education, and Staffing Industries. She has managed teams for over 25 years.
She is an instructional designer, podcast host, content creator, an internationally published author, and the CEO of Level Up Academy by Docleyland, LLC, where she pours her work into creating courses, webinars, and consulting for anyone who needs transferable skills to level up their professional development in business areas. She provides advice for job seekers, opportunities, and collaboration for anyone who wants to transform their life.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Constance to learn a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Constance: I saw the need for bridging the gap between Universities theory-based approach and the student’s need to have transferable skills for employability. I created Level Up Academy for those individuals who want to intertwine between what they learn from universities into transferrable and practical skills ready for employment.
Q. How did you get started?
Constance: It started with my podcast back in February for my team of faculty when I was a Dean. I interviewed both faculty and students, trying to find out what motivates them to engage in the classroom, and the answer is authenticity, connection needed, and a sense of belonging, and the other aspects were hard to pinpoint as each individual has their own journey- the missing piece was their individual’s experiences thus the level up podcast.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Constance: The biggest challenge is wearing multiple hats, financing, adding/creating courses, the ease of products to get the classes up, and marketing it to the right niche market. I created a vision board on where I want to go and micro-listed my goals to a daily goal into something I can work with towards my bigger goal. I learned to be patient, to be flexible, and never give up. I also learned to find something other than the job to motivate me to keep going.
Q. What is the most memorable thing you’ve done since you started your business?
Constance: Sharing my experiences with my audience, students, and fellow teachers and learning from each interview. I also found it amazing to be 121 in Apple Podcast, and I am in over 42 nations/countries now.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Constance: THE VALUES, LEADERSHIP, AND CULTURE OF EXECUTIVE WOMEN IN THE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED STATES – This is my first book to help HR personnel to navigate through hiring individuals for the right position using an evaluation of one’s values, leadership style, and culture. You can use the concepts learned here to tie in with diversity, equity, and inclusion and hire a strong team that aligns with the organization’s mission and vision.
Q. What are your top 3 favorite online apps, tools, or resources, and what do you love about them?
Canva – I love the ability to create any marketing materials.
LinkedIn – as I get to meet cool and amazing business leaders every day
Adobe has multiple uses for multiple things I need as a business owner, from videos, to pictures, to signing contracts, etc.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Constance: I would love to leave the world inspired and connected while celebrating everyone’s differences.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Constance: Don’t give up, and always believe in yourself.
To reach Dr. Leyland, see the following Links below.