Author: Lacey Johnson

Lewis Howes: From a Career-Ending Injury to Spreading Global Greatness

Lewis Howes settled into his chair on the set of “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” positioned across from its iconic host. His heart raced as the cameras rolled. It was not the first time he had walked across that stage and engaged in a dance with Degeneres, his hip bumping playfully against hers. And it was not the first time she would interview him about his turbulent and winding journey to becoming a New York Times bestselling author and internationally celebrated podcast host – recognized in 2013 by President Barack Obama as one of the Top Entrepreneurs Under 30. This...

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum: Where the Imaginations of Americans Live On

In the frenetic hub of downtown Washington, D.C., less than a mile from the White House, where politicians pass by with their briefcases and cups of coffee, and tourists pass by with their curiosities, there reverberates the heartbeat of American art. Stretching across two city blocks, it stands a dignified playground where the ghosts of American imaginations, past and present, are not buried, but live on without reservation. The craftsmanship of more than 7,000 pioneers are venerated inside – from Italian Renaissance contender Leonardo da Vinci, to abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler to fashion and portrait photographer (and popular...

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Holler & Dash Is Serving Up Hot Biscuits, Modern Style & Age-Old Tradition

Cracker Barrel’s executive team gathered around a table inside of their home office in Lebanon, Tenn., strategizing for methods to continue growing the brand while broadening their demographic. It was 2015 and the company was nearing $3 billion in annual revenue. But Millennials were predicted to become the leading spenders in the years to come, and many of them only ever frequented the Old Country Store with their parents and grandparents. How was Cracker Barrel going to capture their attention? The executives tossed ideas around the room, only the best ones landing onto the whiteboard. Soon, a concept emerged...

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Become Your Healthiest Version This Year, Starting Right Where You Are

“Please unleash the demon that has taken up residence in my neck. I’m desperate,” I begged the stranger sitting in front of me, in between grimaces. The stranger, Brendan Sweetman – a well-respected therapist in the field of bodywork – was referred to me by a trusted healthcare provider. I had been experiencing intermittent episodes of painful muscular tightness for several years. On that day, my discomfort level was so bothersome, I was unable to focus on fast-approaching deadlines. Sweetman assessed my posture while inquiring about my history of injuries and activities. Then he proceeded to ask more personal...

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Why NY Times Best-Selling Author Danielle Walker Is Celebrating (+ an Exclusive Recipe!)

Not long after hanging up her wedding dress and veil, a 22-year-old Danielle Walker received the devastating diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. The pain was incessant and urgent – looming over her newly-wedded bliss. The treatment options were far from hopeful. Every doctor told her the same thing: Diets don’t cause it, diets won’t help and they certainly won’t cure it. But a stirring deep within her demanded that she not accept this as her fate. “Something told me that there were better answers if I looked for them, so I dove heavily into research,” says Walker. She read books....

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How Hollywood Publicist Kiki Ayers Went From Homeless to Boss Lady

It happened in the wee hours of the morning while curled into a lobby bathroom stall of a Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. Ke’Andrea “Kiki” Ayers, a young and accomplished entertainment reporter in the red-hot hills of Hollywood, found herself alone – feeling her cold tears run down her face before hitting the marbled floor. From the outside looking in, she lived an enviable life donned in body-hugging and designer dresses, her lips glossed and hair styled to perfection – whisking across red carpets while bumping elbows and exchanging jokes with some of the most idolized celebrities in the world. There...

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The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco Unites the Past, Present & Future

Asia is a multi-dimensional entity. The most populated and diverse continent in the world, it gives birth to a prism of cultural nuances and personalities in the realms of architecture, fashion, language, music, philosophy and religion. The Asian Art Museum, located in the vibrant Civic Center in San Francisco, Ca., is an eloquent testament to this. Within its 90,000-square-foot building, exquisitely designed by renowned Italian architect Gae Aulenti, a multitude of artifacts and creative explorations inhabit – each drawn from the continent’s most fascinating subtleties. Its walls contain objects as old as 6,000 years – gold-mines that pre-date written...

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I Know Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Failed This Year

I know why your New Year’s resolutions may have failed this year. But, first, let me tell you a story. The year was 1912. The doors of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston opened with a star-studded gala – drenched with decadence, bedazzled with jewels and energized by the sounds and movements of clinking crystal, the soft echoes of laughter and the shuffle of ragtime dancers. All in attendance were granted a tour of the building, provoking them to “ooh” and “aah” at its seven floors of luxurious guest rooms and private suites. It was a lavish...

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What New York City Taught Me About Love & Humanity

The first time I landed in New York City, it was a shivering Monday in January 2002. I was a curious and wide-eyed 21-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., tagging along with my attorney father who was there to meet with Jessie Jackson – “Reverend,” as my dad called him. My perception of the city, in all of its cosmopolitan and frenetic glory, was as green as it was glittering. We took a train in from Long Island to Grand Central Station, and then a cab to Rockefeller Center for lunch. Once we finished our sandwiches and zipped ourselves into our...

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The Anthem of Gigi Butler: From Fallen Dreams in Nashville to National Cupcake Supremacy

The most powerful moments in our lives often find us in dark alleys, sneaking upon us in the form of an unsuspecting “what if?” And, if we listen long enough to be lured by its song, and then pursue its message, we are sometimes led to extraordinary places. This is a tune the Oklahoma-born Gina “Gigi” Butler, Founder of the nationally-famous cupcake empire Gigi’s Cupcakes, knows by heart. She followed this question through the dirt-kicking lows of bank loan denials, personal struggles and an album’s worth of pitying “bless your heart”s – rising straight into the apex of cupcake...

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