How indigestion can make you a better copywriter.

When I was 22 years old I spent a weekend in New Orleans with my girlfriend at the time. 

Overall the trip was fine…

But I remember how, after one particularly large meal…

I was so uncomfortably full…


That I started being extremely irritable and grumpy…

And didn’t want to do ANYTHING afterwards…

Except to go back to the hotel and go to bed. 

And that night…

As I was there in bed…

Hating my gurgling stomach and trying to fall asleep

I started thinking about how often this sort of thing happened…


Where, after big meals, I’d feel PISSED… 

And it occurred to me that food wasn’t supposed to make you feel this way. 

In that moment, I resolved to stop overeating… 

And that once I was full, I’d push my plate away and that would be it. 

Now this might not sound like a big deal…

But it was actually a paradigm shift for me:

Some of my earliest memories are of sitting at the dining room table of my Italian grandfather…

Eating angel hair pasta, meatballs, and sponge cake… 

And my grandpa saying “mangia, mangia”…

Which in Italian means “eat, eat.”

If I didn’t finish my entire plate of food, my grandpa would be disappointed…

So I’d finish my plate, pretty much every time… 

And what’s funny is how something small like that can stay with you for a lifetime…

Because until that weekend in New Orleans

I’d overeat all of the time…


And I always felt so crappy afterward…

Yet somehow it never occurred to me to just not eat as much.

When it did finally occur to me…

It was crazy…

My whole dynamic with food changed…

Suddenly I ENJOYED going out to eat again…

I lost weight, had more energy, and was just generally happier…

Plus my relationships with people improved. 


Now the reason I bring his up is because in the last year I’ve started to relapse a little bit.


Most of the time I still don’t overeat…

But when I’m at a really nice restaurant…

I will.

This is especially true at places with celebrated chefs, where they bring you multiple courses, and where the final check is eye-popping.

At places like those…

I’ll feel like I MUST eat everything…

Otherwise, it would be wasteful…

Both from a food perspective, and a monetary one. 

Guess what though? 

Halfway through these meals, I become miserable…

And by the end, I’m a total, grumpy dick. 

The first time it happened was when I took Laura to Joel Robuchon for her birthday – almost a year ago exactly…


But then happened again a few weeks back…

When Laura and I ate at a restaurant called Addison in San Diego.

The food was amazing…

But the dinner was three hours long…

And by the midway point, I was complaining and rolling my eyes and acting like a whiny little kid.

It must have sucked for Laura…


Yet I didn’t learn my lesson…

Because last Saturday, we ate at a restaurant called Guy Savoy in Las Vegas…

And sure enough – it happened again. 

Now with Guy Savoy, this was our second time eating there…

And one of the reasons I suggested it was because the first time we went to Guy Savoy…

I hadn’t felt that full after.

So I figured it would be the same thing.

Except this time, we were even more decadent.


They had a truffle risotto appetizer that was separate from the five-course meal we’d ordered…

So we added that into the mix…

And between courses I kept wolfing down piece-after-piece of super hearty bread – when normally I don’t eat bread at all. 

Well predictably…

Towards the end of the meal…

I was being a total prick again…


Just whining about how full I was, how crappy I felt, how miserable I was – I wouldn’t shut up. 

It was so unfair to Laura…

This should have been quality time together…

We’re at this world-famous restaurant, eating world-class cuisine – which is something we both normally really enjoy doing…

But here I am just being an asshole.  

It sucked…

And then finally, towards the end of dinner…

I remembered that weekend in New Orleans in my early twenties…

And how if I wanted to stop feeling this way…

It was as simple as exercising a bit more self-control…

And just eating less. 

I didn’t need to eat the bread…

And I didn’t need to finish every plate. 

Is that wasteful? I guess a little. 


But if it means that I feel good mentally and physically…

And am able to have more meaningful quality time with the woman I love…

Then it seems like it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. 

So from now on, that’s what I’m going to do…

I’ve recommitted myself to not overeating, no matter how fancy or expensive the meal…

And one of the reasons I’m sharing this all with you is because…

There’s actually a really profound copywriting lesson here: 


Positivity is great…

But pain is almost always the best motivator. 

That’s why bringing up pain points in your sales copy is so important…

And why you shouldn’t be afraid to poke or prod those pain points again-and-again…

Until your prospect is agitated enough to take action. 

Most of us don’t make big changes when things are going great, or even “okay”…

We make big changes when things are miserable, and we know something’s gotta give.

Well if you’ve positioned the product or service correctly in your sales letter…

Then your prospect shouldn’t be thinking about just “buying a solution”…

They should be thinking about how they are investing in a fundamental change in their lives…

A change in their situation, their health, their wealth, their relationships, or something else…

They’re giving you their hard-earned money for a chance to make the pain go away.  

You’re selling change…

And whether you like it or not…

Making someone feel pain is often the fastest way to lead them to that change. 


Okay, that’s it for today. 

I had to fight the urge to add all of these “First World Problems” or “Hashtag Blessed” disclaimers into this email…

But not going to do that…

Because if the idea of me eating at expensive restaurants and not finishing each course is triggering to you…

That’s a YOU problem, not a ME one 🙂

– SPG

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link

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