There was several years where me and two other friends would sit in a chat all day while we worked.

It wasn’t just goofing off.

We were all in similar work and we discussed a lot of work stuff.

Helping each other out all day.

But sometimes the chats digressed.

One day we were talking about Samurai Stance pooping.

“When one would go to the outhouse, he would remove his right leg fully from his clothes…The samurai would sit squarely on the seat, cross his leg so that his right ankle rested on his left knee (his left foot remained on the ground), place a hand on each knee, then straighten his back.”

Will Black

Me and one of my two dudes spent like 2 hours just discussing the merits of different sitting positions.

Not a very productive day, in retrospect.

At the time we thought it was very important.

Good pooping is good health.

Good health leads to good productivity.

Good productivity leads to good money (for our employers).

It was a very important discussion.

But our third dude hadn’t said anything in a while.

This is normal for him now, but back then he was probably the most talkative one.

Was he having a busy day?

Or was he contemplating everything we were discussing.

I never asked because what he did say blew me away.

Finally, he comes in with:

“Just shit.”

I think about this all the time.

And now I’m making it my zen mantra to life.

I’ve been craving more simplicity for many years.

It’s something I struggle a lot with.

There are so many things I want to do in life, and I try to do them all.

I have far too many hobbies.

To make up for it, I try to monetize them all.

And now I have a lot of debt from that.

The other day I sent out an email and posted on social media:

I’ve decided to close out my record label and all the other side businesses I’ve tried over the years and just focus on a day job.

It’s clear that I am not meant for it, and all I have done is “invest” a bunch of money and develop debt.

Thank you to everyone who has bought my music in the past, or hired me for services.

I’ll still be making music but I’ll probably just release downloads on my website for free.

I’ll continue to send emails out every once in a while to anyone still interested.

In a recent Cal Newport podcast episode, he mentions having 2 goals at a time:

  1. A professional goal.
  2. A hobby goal.

I’ve decided my professional goal for now is to become a full-time copywriter for Darren Hardy.

My hobby goal will be to learn to play piano.

I’ll write more about that in the future.

Until then follow my RSS feed or register for my email newsletter:

Someone in a copywriting group I’m in got this question from a potential client:

“If you were a soup, what soup would you be?”

They thought it was a pretty strange question from a potential client, but it’s actually not.

You see, back in the 12th-17th centuries, alchemists had to hide their esoteric knowledge in secret code.

At first, it was because the knowledge was so powerful that they didn’t want too many people to use it.

Imagine if any old bloke could turn lead into gold. It would completely destabilize the economy.

That’s not good business for the alchemists, so they kept their secrets behind symbols and metaphors.

Copywriting is the same.

It’s powerful, and we can’t just let anyone learn it.

Just like the alchemists, most copywriters are charlatans.

They’re not turning lead into gold.

They arrive with lead and hidden gold, and use slight of hand to switch them out so you think they’ve transmuted.

The true copywriters know about soup.

The question “If you were a soup, what soup would you be” was divised by an elite and clandesting guild of copywriters known as the Ink Illuminati to do two things:

  1. Figure out who the real copywriters are (for they will have an answer)
  2. Figure out what type of copywriter they are (as the answer will reveal)

Different soups have different meanings, so your answer is important but it must be knowledgable of the secret code.

Tomato soup means something different than chicken noodle soup means something different than italian wedding soup.

Only the initiated know what the correct answer for them is.

And if you try to pick one, they’ll know just by your writing if you know what you’re talking about or not.

If you know the secret code or not.

If you can turn lead into gold or you’re just attempting slight of hand.

For your information, I’m a beer cheese soup (made with PBR) and if you’re interested in learning more about copywriting (for your music, or software, or whatever it is you’re working on), hit me up.

Ben Settle is a smart dude when it comes to both copywriting and business.

I absolutely trust his knowledge on both of those things (as opposed to his thoughts on health issues or public policy, neither of which I would recommend).

My notes are not going to do his knowledge justice so I highly recommend you sign up for his monthly Email Players Newsletter.

I do not recommend his “Biz Haunts” social lair that is very little biz and very much haunts. It’s basically just a bunch of people complaining about “wokeness” (whatever that is). If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s definitely the place for you and you should check it out. But I’ve got enough negativity in my life and more than 9/10 posts are Ben et al. complaining about something.

This page contains all of my notes of everything I’ve learned from Ben Settle.

Ben Settle Book Notes

  • The Email Players Skhēma Summary, Review, and Notes (Coming Soon)

Email Players Newsletter Notes

How to Create Your Own Marketing Universe (Issue #111 – October 20200

This issue is about world building, which is something I have been working on for a long time.

Ben Settle’s thoughts on how marketing is world building helped my perspective and gave me a lot of great ideas.

To Read: Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D (aff).

Marketing Universe Secret #1 – No More “Marketing” Campaigns

Stop thinking of everything as “marketing” and start thinking of it as “world building.”

Every project needs to be a part of building the/your world. If it isn’t, get rid of it.

You are not the marketer; you are the dungeon master.

Ben Settle Email Notes

Unorthodox email strategies that’ll put some hair on your chest (2022-01-26)

“All you need to make a bundle in business is an email and an offer.”

Eddie Schleyner's Very God Copy Logo.

Eddie Shleyner is the Lead Copywriter at G2.com & Founder of VeryGoodCopy.com.

Notes from his micro-courses coming soon…

How to grow your social media following over 10k in under a year:

If you look at any email Eddie sends (usually from VeryGoodCopy), there’s a button that asks you to like a post on LinkedIn.

It looks like this:

A screenshot of one of Eddie Shleyner's emails that has a LinkedIn button in it.
Sign up for his VGC Plus. It’s awesome.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

You can do that with any social media you have.

It doesn’t have to be LinkedIn.

All you gotta do is ask.

David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy is one of the most famous ad and copywriters in history. I’m pretty sure the character Don Draper from Mad Men is based on him.

“Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process. You can help this process by going for a long walk, or taking a hot bath, or drinking half a pint of claret.”

David Ogilvy

Conversion Class Micro Course by VeryGoodCopy

Conversion Class Micro Course by VeryGoodCopy Review

10/10 will read over and over again.

This micro-course is a fantastic primer for newcomers to copywriting, and full of great reminders for those who have been writing for years.

Also, the idea of micro courses is brilliant and I’m absolutely going to rip that off.

Conversion Class Micro Course by VeryGoodCopy Notes

Coming soon.

Eugene Schwartz

I’ve learned a lot from the famous Copywriter Eugene Schwartz.

Studying the greats before you is a great way to learn.

It’s my favorite way to learn.

Eugene Schwartz’s Headline Formula

I saw this pointed out on Copy Skillz YouTube channel and it hits the nail on the head.

Eugene Schwartz often uses a headline formula: Proof + Pain + Benefit, in that order.

A lot of his headlines are very long.

They were used primarily in Print advertising, so he had space.

Working on the internet now, we don’t have that luxury.

Regardless, the formula still works.

These examples show it working:

Now, medical science has the power to say to you:

Follow these 3 simple steps and,

BEGIN YOUR “MIDDLE YEARS” AT 70, 80, EVEN 90!

This one fits the formula easily.

It came broke into those 3 lines in the ad, but each line shows each part of the formula.

The Proof is medical science.

The Pain is on the second line: processes are tough, but not in this case. This is three simple steps.

The Benefit is on the third line: “middle years” or “middle age” getting pushed back from 40-50 to 70, 80, even 90.

A Eugene Scwartz ad that says, "How modern Chinese Medicine helps both men and women BURN DISEASE OUT OF YOUR BODY...lying flat on your back, using nothing than the palm of your hand!"

How modern Chinese Medicine helps both men and women

BURN DISEASE OUT OF YOUR BODY

…lying flat on your back, using nothing than the palm of your hand!

The Proof, again, is the medical part. “Chinese Medicine” in this case.

The Pain, again, is in how simple the action is. Normally, burning disease out of your body would be hard work. Not this. This is easy.

And the Benefit, on line 2, is burning the disease out of your body.

Favorite Eugene Schwartz Quotes:

“No sentence can be effective if it contains facts alone. It must also contain emotion, image, logic, and promise. “

Eugene Schwartz

Copy is not written. If anyone tells you ‘you write copy’, sneer at them. Copy is not written. Copy is assembled. You do not write copy, you assemble it. You are working with a series of building blocks, you are putting the building blocks together, and then you are putting them in certain structures, you are building a little city of desire for your person to come and live in.

Eugene Schwartz

The greatest mistake marketers make is trying to create demand.

Eugene Schwartz

This is the copywriters task: not to create mass desire — but to channel and direct it.

Eugene Schwartz

What you are doing when you are being creative is trying to connect two separate ideas that logically would not go together up until that moment.

Eugene Schwartz

There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use.

Eugene Schwartz

“You can’t take nothing and make anything. You’re not God.”

Eugene Schwartz