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One of the skill set I am looking to get better at is writing and this blog is an experiment in getting better. James Patterson is one of the most prolific writers in the world with over 300 million books sold worldwide and he was the first person to sell 1 million e-books. To be the best you need to learn from the best, hence have been watching a lot of Masterclass Sessions, especially the writers and business executives.

James Patterson was born in 1947 and raised in Newburgh, New York. He studied English at Vanderbilt University, and found work as a junior copywriter at the advertising agency, J Walter Thompson Co, where he devised the iconic slogan, “I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.” While he became CEO and chairman of the company’s North American division in ’88 and ’90, James also pursued a career in novel writing.

He found critical success with his ’76 book, The Thomas Berryman Number, but it wasn’t until ’93 when he released Along Came a Spider that James met explosive commercial success. Today, he is the world’s best selling author and holds the distinction of writing more #1 New York Times Best Sellers than any other writer in history. James has sold more than 300 million books worldwide and is characterized by unadorned prose, thrilling fast-paced plots, and bite-sized chapters. 

Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’. Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself.—James Patterson

Here are my favourite Takeaways from watching James Patterson’s Masterclass Session on Writing:

Presenter: Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx.
Title: Sarah Blakely teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Favourite Insights:

  • Self Taught, Still Owns 100% of Company,
  • Started her business with $5,000
  • Cross-trained as a Stand-Up Comedy act to gain confidence,
  • She hustles and advocates staying scrappy.
  • Grew organically as the Spanx brand did not advertise for the first 16 years.
  • In 2012, according to Forbes Magazine, she became the youngest self-made female billionaire at age 41

Sara Blakely had no fashion, retail, or business leadership experience when she invented Spanx in the late 1990s. All she had was $5,000 and an idea. Back then, while hawking fax machines door-to-door in the Florida heat, 27-yearold

Sara had to wear pantyhose (a dress code enforced by the company she worked for, Danka). While Sara liked the control-top element of the hose, she didn’t like the seam that showed through her open-toed shoes. She decided there must be a way to have one without the other.

Paul Krugman won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his groundbreaking work on international trade and economic geography. He is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. Paul is a Professor of Economics and Distinguished Scholar at the Graduate Center’s Stone Center at City University of New York (CUNY).

Paul is one of the founders of the “new trade theory,” a major rethinking of the theory of international trade, for which he also received the John Bates Clark Medal in 1991 from the American Economic Association, a prize given every two years to “that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge.

It’s never been more important to educate yourself.

In his Masterclass.com session, paul teaches economics and society. He shares insights on the financial crises, health care, taxes, international trade, urbanization, and globalization Here are my favorite take ways from watching Paul Krugman’s Masterclass session:

Dan Brown is the author of numerous notable novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the bestselling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 56 languages around the world with over 200 million copies in print.

The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books.

Here are my favourite takeaways from watching Dan Brown’s Masterclass.com Session on Writing Thrillers:

To thine own self be true. 

It sounds like a famous-last-words-type claim, but if anyone has the cred to make it, it’s Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Disney is turning profits like no other entertainment company in history—and the company’s rise over the last 15-odd years coincides exactly with the tenure of Bob Iger. 

A onetime TV weatherman, Bob landed a job at ABC in 1974 and steadily worked his way up the ranks of the network, mostly in the sports division, before becoming head of ABC Entertainment in 1989. 

Five years and a few rungs up the corporate ladder later, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of ABC’s parent company, which was purchased by Disney in 1996. Bob was promoted to President of Walt Disney International in 1999, then to President and COO of The Walt Disney Company as a whole in 2000. In 2005, Bob was selected to succeed Michael Eisner as CEO of Disney, and in less than a year he had mended a fraught relationship with Steve Jobs (more on that later), acquired Pixar Animation Studios, and begun a wholesale transformation of not just Disney, but the entertainment industry as a whole. 

Here are my favourite takeaways from watching Bob Iger’s Masterlass.com Session on