If you don’t know who Ben Settle is and your business relies on any kind of copywriting, then you’re missing out.
Ben is an incredible copywriter and coach who teaches people how to write brilliant, counter-intuitive copy that actually works. Every month he publishes his Email Players newsletter which shows you how to write amazing sales copy.
He also used to run in similar circles to me a few years back, and was published on a blog I had read several times: The Proper Villains. It was interesting to find out that I knew of Ben Settle before I knew who Ben Settle was, and that he may know of me!
Ben, if you’re reading this, let me know if you’d ever heard of my blog before we started interacting on Twitter, my man.
Anyway, Ben released (re-released?) a book called “Persuasion Secrets of the World’s Most Charismatic & Influential Villains” and I would like to take some time today to review that book.
What is the book about?
Ben Settle’s Villain Book, as I’ll cal it from now on, is a short book about how to live life like a villain to get what you want from your every day. It contains practical advice on how to be a harder, more ruthless person that the world has to react to.
If you’re looking for a firm kick in the ass to get you moving on your life’s mission, this book will do it.
What I liked
This book is incredibly motivating, like I said. I read through it in one sitting, and then immediately got up and took an idea that I’ve been sitting on and built it out into the real world.
After reading Ben’s book, I was able to take a small idea and manifest it into reality. More on that very soon.
The Villain Book is an informative read that sets out to teach you a few, very specific concepts, and it does that well. It sets itself up immediately as a sort of mental framework, and then executes on that perfectly.
The information that the book contains is necessary, powerful shit that is thorough and easily explained. It’s information that you absolutely need.
It’s Well Written
When you read through the book you are never confused or lost as to the point of the chapter you’re reading. Everything flows and works together towards a point, and it’s easy to see how the strands work together.
This may seem obvious but Ben is pretty good at writing things. This book is no exception.
It provides a needed shift
For me, the book provided a very much needed perspective shift. I’ve written before about my morality, and how I believe that I should put my wife’s needs foremost. What this book taught me is that my mission should come first.
Ben lays out a very clear case for putting your own life’s mission above all else, and working on it maniacally, almost at the expense of all else. I won’t spoil it for you (read it for yourself) but he shifted my perspective on my work and the nature of it.
It’s Fun & Interesting
Up front in the book, Ben introduces his character and the perspective from which he writes the Villain Book, and from that point on it is no longer Ben Settle you’re reading, but this character author.
This makes the book fun and interesting to read, giving it a unique and authentic tone of voice. It also allows Ben a certain amount of freedom to say things that might otherwise be considered blasphemous, but that are absolutely true.
Clarifies & Reduces Complexities
Ben has a great way of taking complex topics (such as choosing your life’s mission) and reducing it down to something simple and easy to digest. The book is short and doesn’t have much time to mess around.
Ben’s straightforward style allows him to take a subject, tackle it, and then swiftly move on to the next. You understand what he’s writing about, you digest the concept, you move on.
What I didn’t like
This was an awesome book that I truly enjoyed. It’s one of those books that you end up re-reading every so often because it contains so much, and you need to be reminded.
But I don’t want this to come off as some sort of dick sucking praise-fest. There were a few problems I had with the book overall.
Rewritten Blog Posts
Ben freely admits that his Villains Book is a rewrite of his content on The Proper Villains. I don’t have a problem with this specifically – I’ve done this myself, releasing my “Conquering Bad Habits” blog posts as an ebook.
My problem here is what this leads to. Ben admits up front that the book is older blog posts that he’s updated and rewritten. In the end it makes the book feel like a really long, informative blog post.
Because it’s several blog posts rewritten and released as an ebook, it felt short. It doesn’t help that Ben is an excellent and engaging writer, either! I was able to finish the book in one sitting in under an hour.
While this is ultimately a selfish complaint, I found myself wanting more at the end of the book.
Ben, if you’re reading this, I need to lock yourself away in a closet or whatever, and expand this book to novel length. At least 680 pages. Change my life, fam.
but the shortness is also a positive, kind of.
About the brevity of the book, I will say this: It forces you to act. The book is all about taking action, and being so short enables you to get your dose, and then go kick ass.
Should you buy the book?
Ultimately it’s up to you if you want to buy the book, but I absolutely would and would again if I could. I only paid like $4 for a kindle copy of the book, and I feel like it was worth much more than that.
The final chapter of the book speaks about impact, and it lives up to its own hype. This book has impacted my life in a major way. It’s changed the way I think about my purpose, and has encouraged me to dedicate more of myself to that purpose.
I highly recommend Ben Settle’s Persuasion Secrets of the World’s Most Charismatic & Influential Villains. Go buy it now.