Designing the Masterclass Experience (with a side of COVID19)


by Christel LeBlanc

As teachers know and students should probably be aware, things are always a little rough the first time through a new course. And the semester doesn’t usually include the routine-shattering circumstances of a global pandemic.

(Read the full article with all images and media at

In the fall of 2019, I approached Paul MacInnis and Chaz Thorne of Soul Tribe Live about doing a project with a class of NSCAD students. The aim was to design the experience of—and components for—a live multi-day workshop called the Soul Tribe Masterclass, a training course geared towards small-scale entrepreneurs with ethical, spiritual and community service oriented businesses. The upcoming Masterclass was scheduled for spring 2020, in Montreal, QC.

Paul and Chaz had run the workshop several times before, and I’d taught some design modules in the latest iteration, held in Halifax in November of 2019. The clients were...

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Your defining moment to lead

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2020

What did you do during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020?

Depending on our age and where we live on the planet, we often have several challenging moments that stand as defining our generation. Take, for example, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, or the crumbling of the World Trade Center.

The way they are discussed is typically, “Where were you when….?”

Many people can recall the exact moment they witnessed what was happening (all of the above moments were televised) or when they were first told of the event. These were moments that shocked us, scared us, and redefined how we saw the world around us.

But there is a key difference in what happened in those moments and what is happening with this present crisis.

I remember sitting in front of my television the morning of September 11, 2001, watching in horror as the first of the towers in New York collapsed in an enormous cloud of grey dust. In looking back now, I can...

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Social Un-Distancing

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2020

COVID-19 doesn't scare me. After all, I am spectacularly macho and tough. But it is making me feel a little sad. I find myself mourning the acute loss of social interaction that the virus has thrust upon us. Still, more importantly, it's made me reflect upon the more significant and more pervasive loss of connection that has been plaguing us for decades.

Aside from the (optional) steps of hoarding canned goods, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer, there seem to be two main steps for dealing with COVID-19:  

1. Be very afraid. 

2. Practice social distancing. 


As always, there is much to be afraid of if you let the headlines guide your emotions. I worry about the people I care for, and I do what I can, but I am not anxious or fearful. Anxiety and fear are not going to help this or any other situation. And fear and anxiety will also weaken us physiologically and psychologically. Again, this may be easier for me based on the macho-ness mentioned above, but if you can,...

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Is there a recipe for making your calling your career?

entrepreneurship Feb 22, 2020

What is the “recipe” that creates success for soul-centered entrepreneurs?

Over the last decade, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most inspiring leaders of spiritual and personal development in the world. Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Gabby Bernstein, Gregg Braden, and Elizabeth Gilbert are all incredible people that built incredible businesses around their thought leadership. The sharing of their gifts has moved millions.

Often, after the large-scale events I produced with these luminaries, I would be approached by audience members who felt strongly that they had messages of their own to share with the world. The underlying question was always, “How do I become like Deepak/Elizabeth/Wayne/Gabby?”

I have thought about this question a lot over the years. How did these trailblazers find their voice, then find an audience, and then, perhaps most importantly, remain connected to their audience for years? Was there some common thread? Did they...

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Moving Past Our Limiting Beliefs

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Happy Sessions workshop with my very dear friend (and business partner's wife!), Anne Bérubé. It was an intense and wonderful few days with 50 other soul-seekers looking to explore what has been holding us back in our lives and how we might release it. 

It was amazing to witness and experience Anne leading this group through the many tears, laughs, and discoveries over the weekend. Being in the presence of someone you love dearly who has fully stepped into their power and reached a level of mastery with their own gifts is intensely inspiring.

On the last day, one of the participants I had yet to hear much from, spoke up. She started steadily talking about the many benefits of the retreat, but as she circled in closer to what her heart wanted her to share, the happy tears flowed freely. She shared her most profound discovery of the session: “I just think about everything I’ve been able to do with...

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Are you an overwhelmed entrepreneur?

entrepreneurship Feb 07, 2020
  • Feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day to get all your tasks done?
  • Confused about how to market your business?
  • Not sure how to get started with that new business idea?
  • Don't know which social media platform to focus on?
  • Unsure as to whether or not you should add that new product or service?

It all seems like too much at times. Even when we have the time to focus on our business, what should we be using that time for? Should we be creating something new? Should we be posting on Instagram or Pinterest? Are our customers even ON Pinterest?! How do I find my customers? And most of all, why aren’t any sales coming in!!??

 And the cost of NOT figuring it all out... 

  • What's the gap between your current and desired income?
  • What is the non-monetary impact?
  • Is your happiness affected? 

We've worked with dozens of entrepreneurs that are where you are — that awful place of not knowing what to do next.

You need to turn down the volume and focus...

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The 80/20 Rule of Soul-Centered Entrepreneurship

I was recently trying to explain to a close friend of mine what shamanism is as we sat on a beach next to the Atlantic watching his dog tumble through the seaweed. 

I clumsily said something along the lines of, “Someone who is deeply connected to both the natural and spirit world who acts as a guide for others wanting to explore themselves on a deeper level.” (I’m sure there are as many definitions as there are shamans.)

My friend, always the cynic, responded, “So, do you get a certificate for that or something?” I love him, but he relishes being a contrarian.

I’ve come across so many people in my personal life that claim to be so many things over the years: angelic mediums, spirit guides, psychics, life coaches, spiritual coaches, yogis, gurus, and “healers” of all sorts. In my multiple businesses, I’ve come across similar personalities wrapped in different packaging: executive coaches, facilitators, keynote speakers,...

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The Unending Power of Empathy

empathy entrepreneurship Feb 03, 2020

A few months ago on an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, the host was interviewing a well-known psychologist who also happens to be an elite performance coach. After some discussion about what, in their opinions, coaching is and isn’t, the host said, “I’ve got a real problem with these life coaches. If you’re gonna’ be pitching me on being my life coach, you better really have your shit sorted out - like a perfect life.”

Boy, did he miss the point.

Most of us come to a place where we decide to embrace a life committed to servant leadership as a coach or some other form of guide based on our own experiences. Those experiences are seldom ones most people would label “positive”. What those challenges reveal to us about ourselves, primarily in the way we choose to face and move past them, is often what motivates us to assist others.

What these experiences provide is perspective, learning, growth, and most of all empathy....

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