Laugh at my pain

Shiv Shetti
3 min readJun 6, 2022


A cringe story from my teenage years to brighten your day:

It’s 2014…

And I’m at a music festival…

Walking to the main stage with my buddy Max and his girlfriend Daisy.

For some reason, I had Max’s phone.

And his phone case had this artsy design on it…

One that you get when you flick a paintbrush onto a canvas.


Being the 2/10 comedian that I am…

I asked Max:

“Why does your phone case look like it was made by a demented chimpanzee?”

And Max BURST out laughing…

Which I actually thought was… weird.

‘Cos I mean…

It was KINDA funny…

But not THAT funny.

One of those jokes where you breathe air more forcefully out of your nostril and roll your eyes.

A joke you’re almost annoyed that you even laughed at.

But I crap you negative:

This man was KEELED over…

Busting a gut and slapping his knee.

I turned to Daisy to be like “wow didn’t take much to set him off”…

But Daisy was the polar opposite… stone-faced and quiet.


My spidey senses were tingling.

I knew I’d done something wrong.

I crossed my fingers and HOPED she just thought I had a terrible sense of humour.

But while that’s 100% true…

Daisy piped up and confirmed my suspicions:

“Yeah… I made that phone case for
Max on his birthday.”

Breathes in*




Ever do something so cringe that you wanna melt into the ground?

If so then you’ll relate to how I felt at that moment…

I mean — this was 8 years ago and it still haunts me!

Anyway, the lesson here?

Always ask who made the phone case before hurling insults at it.


Okay truth is, I have no clue what the lesson is.

Just thought this was funny and I wanted to share.

Although this DOES bring up a good point:

When writing on retainer for great clients…

You can build up to the point where YOU are calling the shots…

And YOU are writing about whatever fun thing you want to write about.


For one of my clients…

I remember writing emails about the rapper Lil’ Pump… and finding some way to tie that into a strong pitch.

Point is:

Retainers create the PERFECT conditions to build a strong relationship with your client… who in turn will give you more and more control over the copy you write for them.

People in our space (often selling you a list-building course) like to say:

“When you write for clients you have NO control.

You can’t truly unleash your creativity…

There’s no fun in that!”

But that’s only partially true.


You obviously DON’T have the green light to write literally whatever you want.

You need to write in their voice, tone, style, etc

You need to write on-brand.

You need to accept things some clients like done a “certain way”.

That goes without saying.

But the MORE you write for a client on retainer…

(Specifically, the buffet model retainer approach I scream about constantly)

The MORE they’ll trust you…

(Assuming you’re getting them an fantastic ROI)

And the MORE control you’ll have over what you’re writing.

Which means… yes:

You can have FUN with it.

*Shock horror*

Point is…

Client work isn’t this pit of despair some people make it out to be.

Quite the opposite, if you do it right.

Get yourself a couple of retainer gigs with some great clients.

Be patient, put in the work, get them an awesome ROI.

And through time…

YOU’LL be calling the shots when it comes to the copy.

That’s when things get real fun…

And you can write enjoyable little stories like I did in this post:)

Speak soon,
Shiv Shetti



Shiv Shetti

My “Flaming Camel” process helps copywriters land $3k-$5k/month retainer clients ASAP