So Martin, Where Did You Learn Copywriting?

In a monastery.

When I tell people this, they tend to raise one or more eyebrows.

A monastery? That’s where you go to learn about sales and psychology and persuasion?

I did, yes.

For many years I was tasked with making sure things ran smoothly in the monastery.

When groceries had to be fetched; when a roof needed repairing; when dishes didn’t get done; when people were shouting in the corridors or showing up late for meditations, Martin was the guy to go take care of it.

Since we were all volunteers, you can imagine it was a pretty tough job to get compliance from people.

“Why should I go buy groceries?”

“Who are you to tell me where to sit?”

“Why would I climb on the roof today? It’s raining, man!”

Seeing how people have incredible resistance to being asked what to do – let alone being told what to do – I needed to get good at persuasion.

And so I started experimenting with word usage and messaging. For years I tried and tested different ways to communicate.

I had no choice but to learn how to persuade people to comply in the interest of a peaceful monastery, clean dishes and the general greater good.

In the end I got quite good at it – 12 years of practice is a long time.

When I finally decided to become a copywriter a few years after leaving the monastery, all I needed to do was to put that spoken persuasion into writing.

I’d never contemplated the possibility until it ‘just happened’.

What about you? What experience and talent from your past could you use to improve your business?


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