The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.

Today’s Q&A feature is James Taylor, Founder and CEO of Taylored Athletes Sports. Taylored Athletes Sports is a Boca Raton, Florida based youth sports educational and consulting company. He is responsible for strategic vision and company operations nationwide. The recipient of more than 100,000 “Thank You”, resulting from the impact Taylor’s sports training business had on the parents, youth, and community members it has served since the company’s inception in 2006. Taylored Athletes’ is well known for its one on one pro at your door basketball training concierge service, next level basketball camps, competitive travel basketball teams, basketball tournaments, and conferences on leadership and character building. Taylored Athletes programs provide positive role models for youth through sports. Specifically, helping at risk youth learn lessons of self-discovery. James is a former professional basketball player who played in the formerly known NBA D League, now, the NBA’s G League, and professionally in countries like Australia and Belarus. In August of 2016, James became the National Basketball Director for the USSSA, the world’s largest multi-sport organization in the world. Led under Taylor’s sports management firm, Taylored Sports Management Group, Taylor consults municipalities, sports tourism commissions, and event operators nationwide on organizing and producing youth sporting events.

James received his bachelors in business in 2005, and a masters degree in sports administration and marketing in 2010, both from the illustrious Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. A lifelong learner, Taylor will also graduate from the University of Florida at the end of the 2018 spring semester with his second MBA in Sports Management and Finance.

Most recently recognized by the ICABA business network as a Sports Rising Star. He’s also an Emerging Business Leader Award recipient from the Palm Beach Black Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo outstanding community organizations grant recipient, a featured next generation of business leaders of the Aetna African American History Calendar, and was honored at the White House under President Obama for his selection to the Empact 100 Top 30 entrepreneurs age 30 and under. James is a passionate sports leader who’s dedicated his life to being a transformational leader and is an inspiration for entrepreneurs. We caught up with James to find out what leadership means to him and what advice he would give to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Why did you choose this career path?

I’d love to take the credit for selecting my career, however, a path of transformational leadership in sports and education chose me. My sport life, introduced me to many transactional people, who’s motives were often fueled by the result of the moment, not the opportunity for growth and evolution. Therefore, I vowed to make transformation not only a founding pillar of Taylored Athletes, but an imputable law.

Who inspired you to get involved?

My mother and father started as my primary inspiration. Not only through in leadership, but in life. I was raised to be a selfless leader, socially responsible, and with the understanding to leave a legacy that could be inherited by my children’s children. I chose the path to help others, which currently has paid me over one hundred thousand “Thank You’s”, our organization has received from athletes, at risk youth, and parents we’ve served since our company’s inception in 2006.

How do you define a leader?

I define leadership as selfless, vision driven, acts that motivate and inspire many toward a common goal and good.

What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?

Currently, we’re prepping for the 4th Annual James Taylor Hornet Tip Off, which is an annual high school basketball pre season tip off classic which host eight High School teams held in central Florida, November 21st & 24th, 2018. This initiative offers the community, players, parents, and coaches, access to entrepreneur leaders, sports professionals, entertainment professional, to learn and discover career paths, gain insight to changes in the technology, and leadership opportunities in all levels of sport and entertainment.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?

Escape the box. It’s ok to be a super hero! Possessing unique skills and talents in multiple areas will often segment you from traditionalist and thoughts a person should only be or do one thing. Not true, your mind is a powerful tool. Use it to change matters that are meaningful in your community and your life.