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| Art, Jobs, Lifestyle,

The Top Masterclass Lessons You Can Take

Beatrice Lessi

My latest pleasure and discovery

I became addicted to Masterclass  when the pandemic started, and I am still discovering it. It is a series of classes you can watch online at your own pace, given by hand-picked businessmen/entrepreneurs/creatives/champions/famous people who are absolute top in their professions and talk about their beginnings, tips, insights, motivations, little stories on how they failed and got lucky, and much more.

How Does It Work

Masterclass requires a subscription. You pay a certain amount for a year (180 $ for an all-access pass) and you can watch any class you like. If you are particularly interested in a class or want to know more about some technical aspects of it, you can also download its workbooks. There is the possibility to listen to the class with under titles, or at a slower speed as well: if you want to follow something thoroughly, you’ll manage to do so.

Is Masterclass Really Worth The Money?

In my opinion, yes. But it depends on your expectations. You won’t get a title or achieve any academically recognised goal, by watching it.  Most probably, it won’t have an immediate effect on the new or better job you were thinking of. In this sense, from a practical point of view, Masterclass has no value. But if inspiration is what you’re looking for, or a fresh approach to your life and business, or simply to understand more about how successful people make it, keep motivated or manage to get lucky, then it’s really worth every cent. You will be stimulated to think and look again at your own work or approach to things. You will feel more courageous and proactive – at least this is what happened to me. There is really a lot of food for thought in Masterclass, and a lot you might use for yourself.

Best and Worst

I have not watched all classes yet (luckily! I am still enjoying the process a lot), but I have already seen what I was mostly interested in to start with. So I give you a very personal chart of my best and worst, and hyperlinks to the trailers, so you can get an idea of what the specific classes are about. Here’s my personal selection of the best, that I would recommend to anyone.

  1. Chris Voos  – The Art of Negotiation Brilliant, useful to understand about something as mysterious as the FBI, and full of tips for every day life.
  2. Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography Even if you are not interested in photography, you’ll be inspired by Oscar winning Jimmy Chin. It will help you to set the bar higher.
  3. Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership. How do you manage creativity? What was it like to buy Pixar from Steve Jobs? How does it feel to strike some of the biggest deals in the entertainment industry? Bob Iger opens up and tells us his point of view.
  4. Ron Finley Teaches Gardening Don’t worry if you kill all plants (like me): Ron is the coolest guy ever and has something to teach you – trust me.  After getting inspired, I also finally started to understand the basics of gardening (and not killing plants).
  5. Jane Goodall teaches conservation Even though a long time of the talk is about what we destroyed, the final classes are very uplifting: there is hope for the planet, and this series will leave you optimistic and inspired.
  6. Robin Roberts Teaches Effective and Authentic Communication. Let’s face it: if you are  a woman, black, lesbian, and make it so big in your career, there must be something special in you. But apart from that, Robin is so fresh, authentic and empathic that you will love her story.
  7. Howard Schultz teaches Business Leadership Really interesting to hear the behind-the-scenes,  fast success and failures of Starbucks and its leaders and employees. Inspiring.

Classes I was disappointed about:

  1. David Sedaris Teaches Story Telling and Humour. Maybe my sense of humour is simply different from Sedaris’: I found his jokes a bit dark and on the verge of disgusting. I also couldn’t really reflect much on his tips and explanations. I found it was disappointing because I like writing and would have loved to find some more inspiration.
  2. Martin Scorsese: FilmmakingMaybe I was expecting a very charismatic man from the fact that he created to many great movies. I felt Scorsese isn’t the best at communication and couldn’t really get involved emotionally.
  3. Kelly Wearstler Teaches Interior Design. This is one of the most popular classes in the Masterclass series,  Kelly looks gorgeous, is super well dressed and shows us some beautiful rooms and hotels. However, I don’t think she really explained anything practical or useful, and mostly talked about finding a voice, getting inspired, sensing stuff….there were no tips and there was a lot of product placement on top of that. Overall, I would still say it’s a class to watch. But only for its beauty and imagery.
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Behinf the Starbuck success: Howard Schultz, twice CEO of Starbucks, teaches business leadership