We had the good fortune of connecting with Avery Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Avery, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Being Kind and Giving. These two principles create balance in life. Being kind helps you to stay calm and peaceful, it also helps block negative thoughts, energy, and people-you may not realize it, but it does. Giving creates a universal effect that enhances your life overall! Great things will always happen to you by simply being a Giver. It does not matter what form the gift comes in, it doesn’t have to be monetary. It can simply be time, listening to someone, or helping someone do something without expecting anything in return-just Give! It makes you feel Happy, Grateful, and aids in eliminating complaining. These two principles work great together and can make magic happen for you and those around you. Being Kind and Giving builds a strong foundation in business and your personal life. These principles help to prepare you for challenges and days in business when you want to “throw in the towel.” It helps to maintain power and control of self and examine all of the great things that are actually happening around you.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Southern Academy of Etiquette, established 2012 -offers professional etiquette programs for Adults, Businesses, and Children. Training topics include all aspects of Communication, Leadership, Self- Presentation, Self-Esteem, and Dining Etiquette. We can pretty much grant your wish for almost any topic. We offer virtual, individual, and private group training. We have also restarted in-person training for individuals and small groups.
The Lillie-Ray Foundation, established 2020 -is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). The focus is to provide disadvantaged students with opportunities, exposure, and the proper etiquette skills so they will be able to successfully handle social and professional situations. The programs will cover topics in Leadership, Etiquette, Finance, Self-Esteem, Home Economics, and some students will receive internships.
I have always wanted to create “a cute” job, something in which I didn’t feel like I was working and I get to dress up. LOL! More importantly, I wanted to help people feel better about themselves and create that happy factor for others. Both of my businesses are fulfilling a need personally, professionally, and for the community. Remember, Etiquette is Everything! It also doesn’t hurt to have an etiquette consultant on speed dial.
As far as challenges, everything is perspective. I have learned to feed myself positivity and not to get caught up in the “hype.” This mindset is something I have to work on everyday.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would go to the spa! Maybe get a room at the Ritz Carlton, order room service, and watch movies! Trulucks would be on our list for the great food and live music. We would go shopping in Highland Park Village and catch a game; depending on the season( football or basketball). The Shops of Legacy is another area we would visit. Of course we would have to visit The French Room at The Adolphus for tea! It’s so much to do here!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother is a great supporter; I honestly have a great support system of family and friends. The books “The Secret” and “The Science of Getting Rich” are two of my favorites! These books are great for mind therapy.
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