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Success Stories

James Lauderdale


About my business

James Lauderdale is the visionary entrepreneur behind The 37208, a unique magazine that provides a fresh perspective on the issues faced by the residents of ZIP Code 37208 in Nashville, TN. The magazine not only highlights these important topics, but also seeks to empower the community by facilitating GED classes. James aims to equip students with academic support, essential tech and entrepreneurial skills, such as web and app design, robotics and AI. With a focus on fostering income generation for individuals, families and the community, James envisions transforming impoverished areas into beacons of hope.

“In addition to mentoring and tutoring students, I want them to learn tech and entrepreneurial skills and use them to generate income for themselves, their family and their community. Web and app design, robotics and AI would be much of the focus. Tech continues to be the wave of the future, so high quality work is still in demand. The motivation is to turn impoverished communities into oases of hope,” said James.

Nashville | TN

My Mentors

  • Ayodele Kolawole, Founder of ThinkTank Inc.
  • De'Shera Benton, Founder of D. Milan Hospitality

Business milestones achieved

  • Bank Account
  • Business Plan
  • Funding
  • Business Website
  • First customer
  • Annual sales
  • Tested idea
  • Designed product/service
  • Purchased equipment or supplies
  • Manufactured first products and ready to sell them
  • Named Business

Business mentoring story

The collaboration with Ayodele Kolawole and De'Shera Benton yielded significant milestones for James Lauderdale and his business, propelling him towards success.

Ayodele Kolawole is an accomplished entrepreneur who connected with James through the Sky's the Limit platform. Hailing from Nigeria, Ayodele quickly developed a rapport with James as they discussed their respective communities and shared insights on politics. Ayodele's fascination with James' ZIP Code, which had the highest incarceration rate in the nation, sparked a transformative idea. By the end of their conversation, James had outlined the concept for The 37208 magazine. In an incredible burst of productivity, he completed the first issue within a mere 2-3 days. Ayodele's entrepreneurial expertise and global perspective proved to be a catalyst for James' vision.

Ayodele's insights and encouragement led James to secure his first advertisement sale. Thanks to Ayodele's guidance, James witnessed remarkable growth, expanding his client base from three to an impressive eighty-three in a short span of time. With Ayodele's support, James developed the first drafts of three magazines, setting a rapid pace for his business.

"Ayo and I kept in touch throughout the years. We would update each other on how we were doing. The first months were invaluable to my development and confidence as an entrepreneur."

De'Shera Benton, an experienced professional in the Hospitality & Customer Service industry based in Metro-Atlanta, GA, became James' mentor after he secured a grant for GED classes in his community. De'Shera played a crucial role in helping James develop a strategic plan for utilizing the grant effectively. She provided recommendations for his flier promoting free bus passes for GED classes, ensuring that it was the most effective for in accomplishing his objectives. De'Shera's unwavering support and guidance provided James with the confidence he needed to move forward.

De'Shera's mentoring played a pivotal role in optimizing the utilization of a grant he won. Her expertise in strategic planning and cost reduction strategies proved invaluable as she guided James in refining his flier strategy. With De'Shera's assistance, James managed to reduce costs by at least 25%, ensuring the grant was used wisely and efficiently.

Through his collaborative efforts with mentors, James Lauderdale successfully achieved 11 crucial milestones, propelling his business towards remarkable progress. The guidance and support he received enabled him to establish a strong foundation for his entrepreneurial journey. As a result of accomplishing these milestones, James Lauderdale was able to launch his business successfully, complete three magazines that highlighted the issues in ZIP Code 37208, secure ad buyers and customers and establish a solid foundation for future growth and expansion.

The collective expertise, guidance and encouragement provided by Ayodele Kolawole and De'Shera Benton played an instrumental role in James' achievements, allowing him to turn his vision into a reality. James Lauderdale's journey with The 37208 magazine exemplifies the power of mentorship and the positive impact it can have on an entrepreneur's success. With the help of mentors, Ayodele Kolawole and De'Shera Benton, James transformed his vision into a thriving business that empowers his community and brings hope to those in need.

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