Where I have been.
The last time I wrote a blog post, I was fanboying over Gary Halbert’s lesson to his son, Bond, in “The Boron Letters“. The lesson was simple: go find the most successful advertisements and copy them, in your own handwriting, verbatim. Gary was convinced this would help Bond get an understanding of what writing successful copy is like.
The execution of this simple lesson was much harder. For one, the examples Gary used for Bond were really long. Gary wanted Bond to copy the ad as if he would hand it to a typist. I couldn’t write small enough for the entire ad (which you can see the originals here) to fit on a single page.
After I finished my first ad, my hand was so cramped and tired from writing it scared me away. But, then I had a better thought: what if I revamped this exercise to “fit the times” better.
I know, I know, human nature doesn’t change and the older ads Gary mentioned would still carry the same influence today. But, what if I copied (and typed out) the most successful email copywriters who, in turn, have learned a lot from Gary.
So that’s what I did. One of these email copywriters is Ben Settle.
I feel like my copywriting has jumped through the roof, and I have become better at typing too.
(Do you notice the difference? I sure do.)
Ben Settle has convinced me of his “wicked ways”.
After being on his email list for some time, he has finally made me cough up some dough for him. He deserved it too. (Elaborated above.)
I just purchased (and read) his “Villains” book.
We need more villains and fewer heroes.
A villain is someone who puts his Mission before all else.
A job, women, friends, family, etc.
It’s not that villains don’t want any of the aforementioned luxuries, but that he doesn’t *need* them.
His primary goal is his Mission.
The Villain’s weapons.
This lack of neediness allows the villain to develop his most powerful weapon: charisma.
His newfound lack of neediness also puts him (and no one else) in charge of his time and money.
To cultivate the lack of neediness needed to succeed, the villain must pay himself first (in time and in money). His first hour each day, regardless of how busy he is, is dedicated to his Mission. Likewise, the first 10% he earns is devoted to him to save. Just in case he needs it one day, he can rely on himself rather than others.
The villain doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep or give into (what Dan Kennedy coins as) “Time Vampires”.
This is different sides of the same coin. Just like the single crab trying to escape the bucket, as soon as he starts his journey, other crabs will be there to pull him back down. So do sheep and Time Vampires.
In fact, they thrive off of being able to waste your time. But since a villain is not needy, he knows his time is too valuable to waste.
The last thing that makes a villain the most powerful in the galaxy?
Patience paired with charisma is the deadly combo all the best villains had. Take the Joker. He had none of the special abilities that usually accompany heroes and villains alike.
Take the Joker. He had none of the special abilities that usually accompany heroes and villains alike. But, he had the one thing that none of them had: Patience.
Patience attracts girls, money, success, and especially impact. If you are patient, you can wait to make the most impact.
Impact is everything. Think Apple. Making an impact is their primary marketing tactic. They hold limited events per year (only 3 in 2016), have limited advertisements, and do little promotion. They have patience. And that patience grants them the ability to make the most impact when they do decide to promote.
The difference with Heroes.
Heroes are generally nice, while villains execute their inner nice guy. Being nice, it turns out, isn’t the best way to succeed.
Nice guys get walked on.
Nice guys never get the girl.
Nice guys will feed the homeless cat, incentivizing the cat to keep on coming back.
This happened to Ben. He offered free advice to someone he usually would have made paid hundreds of dollars. The poor guy didn’t take his advice and instead came back for more advice. Just like the homeless cat. Except when Ben ignored him, the guy started badmouthing Ben across the world wide web.
If Ben was “mean”, and just ignored him from the beginning, this all could have been avoided.
That’s precisely why we need more villains and fewer heroes.
We need less phony “nice guys” and more brute honesty. Sometimes the truth hurts, but that makes it even more valuable than nice, pretty white lies.
Time to shift into the Villain Mindset.