Behind the Scenes of a Successful Remote Career with Joe D’Eramo

Nov 13, 2023 | Instruments of Choice, PodCast, Practice Makes Progress, Season 3, The Jam Room

The Back-Story

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work from home, the challenges that come with it, and how to balance it all? Get ready to unravel these mysteries as Tim interviews our accidental entrepreneur guest, Joe D’Eramo. With over two decades of experience, Joe has successfully transitioned from traditional office work to remote work. He shares his candid journey of facing a layoff, stepping into the freelance world, and discovering success.

Whos is Joe D’Eramo?

Joe is a professional writer specializing in creating engaging and compelling content for various clients and industries. He has experience writing blogs, ebooks, newsletters, releases, articles, web, social, and more for B2B and B2C audiences. He also offers campaign planning, social media strategy, press releases, media pitches, radio spots, case studies, testimonials, biographies, and sales sheets.

Joe has worked with over 500 small business and corporate clients, producing high-quality copy that meets their needs and goals. He has also been the primary account manager for PR Works, a leading public relations firm, where he handled accounts for more than half of the firm’s clients. Joe has written articles for C-level executives at Arbella Insurance Company, one of the largest insurers in the region. He is also a partner in My Pinnacle Network, a B2B networking group he helped create and grow to over 150 members across Massachusetts.

Joe has a knack for generating publicity and exposure for his clients and himself. He has secured coverage on a local FOX affiliate for a local school superintendent who participated in a charity bike ride. Joe has co-authored and self-published a humorous book called Recipes for the Roommate-Impaired, which sold 700 copies out of a 1,000 print run. He has also penned a daily column for, a former Sony entity, that reached 10,000 subscribers.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:36] Joe’s story of success
[3:10] What were his challenges of working from home?
[7:35] What’s his bad note to learn from?
[13:01] How did he deal with other people in the house when he was working?
[17:45] What are the tools he used?
[20:45] The difference between the mindset of working at the office vs. at home
[24:45] What are his thoughts on AI tools?
[28:49] What’s exciting about his business?
[31:58] Where can you learn more about Joe and his business?
[34:08] Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rock star.

Today, we have a marketing and PR consultant, a copywriter, sub stack publisher. His business is High Road Communications and what he does is he helps people to be more productive and happier in their home office experience. Very excited to be rocking out today with Joe DeRamo. Hey Joe, you ready to rock?

Joe D’Eramo: I am ready to rock Tim.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. So we always start off here in a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be

Joe D’Eramo: inspired by. Uh, story of success. Uh, it is actually it kind of dovetails with my story of failure because I was a January of 2002. I got notified by the company. I was working for that.

We were my department was being eliminated. I was like, oh, that’s not good. I went from being on on top of the world that a really good job with a couple of good side gigs. And this was post 9 11. And, um. What happened was they had some bad financial results. They peered back, they laid [00:01:00] people off and then I was in the job market and I was like, what do I do?

And I decided, well, uh, I’m looking for jobs. Well, we had just started a war, so people weren’t hiring. So I started looking for projects and I found a few projects coincidentally with a company that had just let me go. And. After, um, working on that, I’m like, you know what, maybe I should just start being, uh, being a company.

So I started looking for work, looking for projects and, uh, kind of the, the success was actually. Connecting with a graphic designer who I, I used to use at my previous job. And she created a, a logo, which is really interesting for a writer that the success part of their business was getting a logo, but it really made me feel like a business.

And, uh, it’s been 22 years since then. And I’ve been through all sorts of stuff in my personal life and. Working in from home with kids, [00:02:00] working from home without kids and, um, met, met some folks along the way who’ve been a good source of business. So really the, the success story was the, the sad story is that how it happened.

But once it happened, fine, you know, it kind of freed me to find the things I want to work on. So that’s kind of combining both

Tim Melanson: an accidental entrepreneur.

Joe D’Eramo: Uh, most of us are, I think, I think so too.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Cause my story is very similar as well. I got laid off as well. Mind you, I saw it coming. So, um, but it was a similar situation.

I, I didn’t, I didn’t really want to go back to a pubicle and, you know, I just thought maybe I’d just grab a couple of projects me. It’s cause I’m, I was playing music at night and I figured no company would want me to come in at 11. But even still, you’re one of the longest that I’ve heard of that’s been working from home.

So over 20 years, kudos to you for that because there’s a lot of challenges that come with that, right?

Joe D’Eramo: Oh, tons of challenges. You deal with [00:03:00] isolation. Like I mentioned, sometimes you have kids. In the early years, I had two stepchildren. Who were elementary school age and we had a newborn, so kind of navigating her back and forth to daycare, getting the other kids from the activities while my spouse was off doing the day job, um, real challenges, but, um, you know, eventually you kind of get a rhythm going and you figure out how to.

How to make it all work and then the straight and we, we worked in a puppy or two in during those years as well. So that was probably more challenging than the kids trying to get him on schedule, but he eventually knew my patterns as well as I did, which is kind of interesting in itself. Yeah. I’ve

Tim Melanson: been through all that too.

Like it’s, it’s been almost 16 years for me as well, but it’s, you know, It was a way different world back then too, right? Because now I feel over the last few years, like since the lockdowns happened, a lot of [00:04:00] people are sort of like, they’re okay with this work from home thing. But back then, like, it was different, wasn’t it?

Like, people treated you differently.

Joe D’Eramo: Oh, yeah. No, there was, there was the shame if you went to the grocery store at 11 o’clock in the morning and just, you know, and you weren’t totally dressed up and, you know, what, what’s he working out for at this time? How does he have time to, is he, is he unemployed?

And there’s a feeling, yeah, the feeling I had in the beginning was like, you know, I did feel almost unemployed, even though I was working the same amount of time because I wasn’t going, getting up and driving somewhere and, uh, yeah, no, it took a while for that to change. The, the, the COVID experience was really interesting.

I don’t know if you want to go into that or not, but it was kind of interesting in that, you know, the whole world joined where we are. Yeah. That’s exactly it. You know, everybody asked me what was the impact of COVID and, you know, quite obviously the horrible loss of life and whatnot, but for me that there wasn’t a huge difference, you know, [00:05:00] and the, the cool part was that everybody kind of joined us.

So now, now they’re in the same boat as us and we’re, you know, we’re, we’ve got it down, we’re clicking and they’re kind of trying to figure it out. And yeah, you know, all the, uh, the zoom, happy hours and other things people were doing to kind of make it more palatable. It’s like, these are things that we’ve been working with for years just to keep it real, you know,

Tim Melanson: well, do you know what I noticed is that, uh, all the tools, the zoom tools and all that stuff just got so much better and less buggy, like.

I don’t know about you, but I was finding that they were not, I mean, they were pretty buggy before the lockdown, as soon as that happened, I think, and I did hear that these companies all poured millions of dollars into the… Night

Joe D’Eramo: and day difference. And the best thing, because years ago, I do a lot of networking for my business, and one of the best things, um, about COVID, the experience is people got comfortable being on camera, somewhat, whereas [00:06:00] before, it was always a conference call, and if you have more than one, you know, Three, two or three people on the call.

It was confusing as a, you know, who’s, who’s talking. I don’t know, you know, especially if you’re not really familiar with the voices, once we went to zoom, you at least had a fighting chance. You could tell who was talking and who wasn’t. And, um, you know, I don’t even, unless the person’s in the next town for me, I really don’t do a one on one in person.

It’s always by zoom. It’s such, it’s so much more efficient and all my networking groups. We’ve now, even though, you know, we’ve kind of moved on from COVID they’re online because it’s just more efficient, you know, so it’s, it’s really, you know, horrible thing that happened, but some blessings as well.

Tim Melanson: Yeah.

They’ve figured out a lot of the things that we had already kind of figured out. Like, and I’m the same way with the in person meetings. I really don’t. I, I, I had a client just to. Last week that wanted me to go in somewhere and I’m like, really, you want me to go downtown, like in the middle of the day, find parking, [00:07:00] spend a half hour driving there and back.

Like, I don’t, why don’t we just do it on zoom? No, no, really wanted it. All right, fine. But it was such a weird experience to be driving downtown and parking and going into a physical meeting when it’s just so much easier with just popping your zoom on. Right?

Joe D’Eramo: Absolutely.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. So now, okay. Well, along with the good note, you know, you mentioned a bad note, you know, that led to your good note, but you know, over the last 21 years, I’m sure there’s a few things that did not go super smoothly.

And I’m wondering, is there something that you could share with us that, you know, maybe we can learn

Joe D’Eramo: from? Oh gosh. Uh. You know, I, I don’t know if it’s a working from home thing, but I, I do a lot of PR for my business and actually it was one of the, one of the few times where I did, um, I pitched, uh, there’s a, there’s a service called help a reporter out, which offers reporter queries.

And this 1 reporter wanted somebody in the field of [00:08:00] security for transit and things like that. So set up interviews for him with this client. I was working who has an app that does that. And. The guy flew in from D. C. We met him being one of the business partners. We had a really nice talk. We took him to the transit authority in Boston to have them talk to them at a good interview with them and then a business owner.

And this kind of speaks to the working from home thing. It was a startup, but he still had maybe half a dozen people or so working for him. But the day the reporter showed up, he had nobody in the office. So this brilliant opportunity to talk about his business to a New York Times reporter, and he’s basically declined to have the reporter come to the office.

And I don’t think a story was ever written, and it was just like, wow. You know, talk about, it’s like the goldmine, you know, as a PR person, being in the Times, I mean, that’s, that’s your ticket. [00:09:00] Yeah, he ended up passing on the opportunity because he didn’t want to appear like he was working by himself in an office, even though there was enough evidence that other people work there.

They just weren’t there that day.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, it was like, it was all staged that way. Right. With messy desks and

Joe D’Eramo: everything. Oh, you know, there was stability. It was, you know, kind of a newer, you know, when we were, they were trying to do like the ping pong table era and the stability balls and all that stuff there, but no, no people.

Tim Melanson: Wow. That’s crazy. So, okay, so now work from home, one of the challenges, one of the very first challenges that I came across and probably you too is, is just figuring out where you’re going to set up shop in your house. Where is that jam room going to be and what’s it going to look like? So do you you must have some tips now on how to set up a really good home office?

Joe D’Eramo: Um, I mean, you know what? I’ve seen a lot of things on this and in researching when I put together my weekly newsletter my home office hacks And it really comes down to what what you’re comfortable with [00:10:00] I mean you can have one of these better homes and garden home office, but if it’s not functional for you It’s, you know, so kind of whatever works.

My one advice is if you can do it, make it separate from the rest of your home. If there, if you can close the door and be separated from other, you know, if you live with other people, whether it’s children or roommates or whatever, just have a separate space so that you can keep it quiet. Uh, if you don’t have that, um…

I personally, I live in a cottage and I have a there’s the only room with a view of the pond is in the kitchen. So this is kind of 1 of those things. Don’t do as I say, didn’t say as I do that sort of thing because I set my kit, my office up in my kitchen so I can look at the pond when my daughter is there every, you know, every so often, you know, it’s kind of different.

But, uh, I think what you look at is every bit as important as being able to isolate. Okay. So you want to have things that are pleasing to your eye. If you’re looking at a blank wall, [00:11:00] honestly, it kind of It, it, it, it, it messes with you a little bit. You, you want to, a lot of us will have offices in, in, um, in basements and you may not have a window.

I recommend if you can find a space with a window, natural daylight will help because it’s less of that, you know, dungeon feeling, which, I mean, it can almost feel like punishment if you’re working in a basement. And you’re being sent down to work, work there and there’s no daylight. So those are some, some basics.

Uh, obviously you need the equipment you need. Um, you want to have everything within walking distance or, you know, so you’re not walking up and downstairs that if you’re sharing a printer with somebody in their other, other part of the house and have to get up every time, probably not a good thing, you know, just have.

One of the things I’m big on, I do a lot of reading. I get a lot of recommendations and, um, Atomic Habits is a book I’ve really. Been drawn to and one of the things they [00:12:00] preach is getting rid of the friction. So if you pile stuff up on your desk, you’re creating friction. You’re creating, you’re making it an unappealing space.

So come up with a system. However, whether that’s a folder for desk stuff, things neatly in a folder on your desk, it’s still there if you need it. Which is kind of our, the, the rationale as to why we pile stuff up on our desks is that, Oh, I, I just want to have it at my disposal. You can put it in a folder and keep that folder on your desk.

It looks and feels a little bit neater and uh, it’ll be a little bit more efficient that way.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, Atomic Habits is one of my favorite books as well. It is, I learned so much from that book actually. I’ve listened to it a few times on the audiobook.

Joe D’Eramo: Words to live by, literally.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, now, uh, like, as you said, like, when you’re, uh, if you’re alone in the house, well, then, you know, you could go sit, set up shop pretty much anywhere, but you’re right, when there’s someone else in the house, it’s It’s very difficult to get into a groove and sometimes people will come in and start asking questions of [00:13:00] something and, you know, sometimes you need, depending on the work that you do, I suppose, right?

But for most of us, I think you, you get into a groove,

Joe D’Eramo: right? Oh, absolutely. And then, you know, I, when I lived with people with my stepchildren, my children and whatnot, I would have a little sign on the door when I was in a call or something, just don’t, don’t disturb. And honestly, that was almost like the reverse happened where people would.

Uh, come in and it’s it’s really difficult. You really have to coordinate. And, um, especially with the type of work I do, I’m a, I’m a copywriter. I’m mostly writing stuff. You’re a web designer. Some take that takes a lot of focus. So having people knocking on the door, asking you where things are and, you know, I need this.

I need that you really have to kind of create some boundaries with those folks and let them know this is a work hour or kind of communicate. Okay. I’m going to be on the phone or I need to focus for an hour, you know, if it’s, unless it’s really important, let me have that time and [00:14:00] in general, that kind of works out.


Tim Melanson: well, and, and I don’t know if this was your experience, but, uh, you know, my son was one when I started working from home and, you know, I found it very easy to train a young kid. It was like the opposite of what you’d think you’d think, Oh, you know, that it’s going to be impossible to get my own kid to understand what’s going on.

Turns out it was a little bit different than that. It’s actually harder to train adults to

Joe D’Eramo: understand that your work from home. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think it’s far worse. I used to have more trouble with my, my father in law. Who liked to tinker around when he visited, he would like to tinker around with various things and I would say, I’ve got a call from 1 to 2, you know, can we keep it quiet?

And the next thing I know, I’m on my call and I hear the snowblower being started up next door in the garage next door. I’m like, yeah, no, that, uh, that, that happens. Uh, you make an excellent point about the. The kids and that you can sort of train them [00:15:00] and part of that is, I mean, one of the beauties of working from home is like, you know, you say dedicated office space, but the beauty of working from home is that.

Unless you need a lot of monitors, you can bounce around to other parts of the house if you need to, or say the public library to entertain a kid. They read books while you do what you do. I know at our house, um, I was on the base, I was in the basement and my daughter’s room was up on the top floor, which is two flights up.

So I would, we’d be in the middle. I’d sit at the kitchen table. And we create a little workstation for her. So it rotated from like a normal desk, uh, it evolved into a, you know, one of those toy kitchens and then a toy beauty salon. And so she felt like she was working while I was working and it was amazing how, and when in doubt, I had our, a whole, um, Rolodex of [00:16:00] videos that videos, uh, that would bail me out.

Sound of music, Mary Poppins were very popular and. The wedding of William and Kate was the best babysitter for me for quite some time. Uh, she watched that numerous times and, uh, the, the impact on her life was, is, was kind of interesting too, in that she loves music now, she’s interested in going in music therapy.

She, you know, this is a music show, but she, uh, she plays about five instruments. She issued her first album last summer, which she did from home. Uh, so, you know, I’m not taking credit for it, but at the same time, she was definitely She was definitely kind of guided towards music, by the way, you know, we work from home.

That’s awesome.

Marc Mawhinney: Hi, it’s Mark Mawinney from Natural Born Coaches, and I want to give two very big thumbs up to Tim Melanson and his Creative Crew Agency. I [00:17:00] have been using them for a long time, and I am 100 percent happy. They get the job done right. They’re fast and they let me focus on my business. I don’t have to worry about anything.

So again, I want to give them two very big thumbs up. I have no problem recommending them. I don’t give testimonials for everyone because my name is attached to it, but I gladly do so for Tim and the Creative Crew Agency. So use them. You won’t regret it and good luck.

Tim Melanson: So let’s talk a little bit about the instruments and the tools that you use to get success.

I mean… What are some of the things that you use regularly?

Joe D’Eramo: Some of the things I use regular, uh, I’m a big advocate of using productivity tools. Uh, the two I use the most are the Pomodoro timer and recently the, um, it’s not an, I mean, there’s an app for it for quads, you know, four quadrants where you prioritize your work day and, you know, upper left, it’s the most, you know, [00:18:00] things that have to be done today, right?

It is things that. You know, should be done today. And then third, you know, the third one is like to get done today. And the other one just ongoing tasks. I used that one recently before I went on vacation for the first time in like 20 years. I say that joking. It’s the first time I actually went to Europe and I hadn’t been to Europe in 20 years.

So I had had to prepare for not only the work I needed to get done, but the work that had to be done in my absence and using the quadrant system was a way I set it up and I didn’t think I’d get to everything. And I. Using that system was really helpful because I hit the, I hit the left quadrant first, nailed them all, then hit the rest and, uh, When I left for Belgium, I all, all of it was done.

The Pomodoro one is a, is a really, uh, I’ve managed to incorporate it into, not only to get my work done, but to get my exercise routines done. So for those who don’t know, and I’m not sure if, if you know what it is, but Pomodoro timer basically [00:19:00] is based on the cooking timers. My mother used to u use one back when I was a kid a hundred years ago, and you set the timer at 25 minutes, you lock in.

You don’t respond to email or social media. You just do your work at the end of 25 minutes. You take a 5 minute break. And what I’ve been doing is I will, you know, you can use that time to look at your social media or emails, return a phone call. Or what I like to do is I like to. Do some exercises. Now I’ve discovered a guy named Matt Fury who has a bunch of body weight exercises and other types of really beneficial exercises you can do in like two or three minutes and get a really decent workout.

So I’ve been incorporating those into my day so that by the end of the day, not only have I finished my work, but I’ve gotten some exercise in so that I’m ready to do whatever I want to do that day, whatever, whatever that might be. So make my make your work day a little bit longer. But you’ve gotten your [00:20:00] exercise in, you don’t have to drive to a gym because the bodyweight exercise is the only gym equipment I need is me, basically, and, uh, it works for me.

Well, you know what I’ve

Tim Melanson: found is, uh, you know, I’ve interviewed a lot of people that work from home and it turns out that almost everybody has some sort of either exercise or meditation routine in their, their daily activities. I find that interesting because when I look at the people that I used to work with in the office, I would say that it’s exactly the opposite for a number of people.

It’s almost everybody has no routine for either of those two things. I wonder why

Joe D’Eramo: that is. I think, um, I think it’s a mindset we’re trained to that, you know, you show up at the office, you go to work, you know, and your, the, the routine is basically your commute. Which isn’t much of a routine. Frankly, it’s the very last thing you should do before you want to focus on your work.

[00:21:00] Um, and I think that’s why so many people had trouble. Adjusting to working from home because they basically thought they could roll out of bed and frankly, that’s the last thing you should do when you get up is start working. I start my day like you said with meditation, some stretching exercises. I do some handwriting exercises, I actually warm up my hands before I even touch the, the keyboard, which I would say most of your listeners probably have never even heard of that.

Nope. I have never heard of it. It’s the instrument you use every day, but you don’t train it. And that’s why carpal tunnel is such a big issue because some very simple, you know. And I talk about that in my newsletter, Matt Fury, the guy I was mentioning has given me a bunch of stuff over the years for your hands and your, it’s really about your tendons more so than your hands.

You got to stretch your tendons. You know, as a musician, I’m surprised you don’t, you must have some sort of warmup for that as well. Right? [00:22:00]

Tim Melanson: I warm up my voice and I suppose you’re right. I do stretch, but I don’t think it’s a routine. It’s never something that I even thought about. It would just be kind of like, okay, here we go.

Like just kind of like that. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s Transcribed by

Joe D’Eramo: https: otter. ai It’s crazy how that is not, uh, you know, there’s just not been most people don’t do it. They’re always, that’s the two things that surprised me and people I talked to one is there’s no warmup for their hands. And the second is they’ve never heard of Google alerts, which, oh, it’s just like, you know, we’re, we’re in the kind of business where that’s a really important thing.

But, uh, a lot of people don’t notice create a Google alert so that they can tell whether people are talking about them or their business online. And it’s. It’s, it’s, it, it’s interesting. I’ve

Tim Melanson: alerts and, and timers and, oh, it is reminders for everything. Everything is being, you know, what, why, why have to, I think it’s one of those things where people are like, oh, but how do you remember to do everything you need to do?[00:23:00]

I actually don’t. There’s something that

Joe D’Eramo: reminds me. Yeah, no, I, I mean, I was, I had this conversation with somebody the other day. It’s early on in my, my freelance work. I mean, I’ve, I’ve always had a great memory and I’ve always prided myself on that. And for a number of years, you know, the idea of using Outlook calendar, it’s like, why do I need that?

I’ll just write it down. I’m, you know, and, and now it’s like, there’s just too much. There is so much more to think so many more things we have to remember if you throw in pets and kids and spouses and their schedules and their needs, it’s impossible. So even if you have the best memory, there’s not enough Prevagen in the world.

That’s going to help you there. You’ve you’ve got to write it down. You’ve got to have reminders and especially I know in my case. I’m not, I’m part of the sandwich generation where I have a, uh, a teenager and I’ve got a senior parent who needs care. So, uh, I, you know, I’m, I’m bouncing around from one location to [00:24:00] another.

So you, you always, you do, you do need to write things down. You do need to have reminders and you need to have a system and it’s unfortunate, but it’s the world we live in.

Tim Melanson: Well, and nowadays too, with the software and even now with AI kind of running in here, there are some really, really cool tools that will help you.

Tremendously with balancing that schedule, right? Especially if you have it digitally.

Joe D’Eramo: What do you use from AI? Cause I’d be curious to hear about that.

Tim Melanson: So I haven’t actually started using it yet, but I saw it come up on a, a, uh, I can’t remember the name of the, of the net to look it up and set it to, but there’s a, there’s an AI tool that will actually take your calendar.

And it will, because I already do the Tetris with the calendar just manually, but it will do that. And it will make sure that your appointments are all set up in a way that will be more time efficient. So I’m going to, I’m going to look that up again because it was one of those things that I put on my list and I’m like, I’m going to look [00:25:00] at the end of that.

I think that sounds pretty cool.

Joe D’Eramo: I have a love hate relationship with AI as a writer. This is one of the interesting things about since I’ve been writing this newsletter, it’s kind of changed me a little bit. It’s opened my mind quite a bit. Before, I was kind of old school and kind of set in my ways, and now it’s like…

There’s a lot of things out there that can help me and I had a friend who’s an AI expert and he was saying, Oh, it’s like the calculator. You know, when you were being taught math, you added everything up. And once you got the calculator, you evolved to them like that. Now you’re crazy, but it’s, it’s really true.

And that, um, and it’s actually made me feel better as a writer that, okay, I have this great tool. It’s going to research things for me, which saves me time. Thank you. My job is to make it sound like voice I need it to be in, whether it’s my stuff or whether it’s the stuff from my client, make it sound like them and make sure it’s it works for them.

It’s not a copy and paste for sure. If you use it that way. [00:26:00] You’re making a huge, huge mistake. If you, if you think you can use it that way, it is a tool. It is a guide and you have to still put, so in many ways, I think it makes me more valuable. Yeah, it does.

Tim Melanson: It can’t, yeah, you’re a hundred percent right about that.

And I have like taken some of that prompt stuff that comes out of a, you know, chat, GPT and stuff, and it does not sound like a person at all. So, you know, but it is great for eliminating that. The blank page, you know, you, you, you throw in some prompts that there, and it’ll give you something to start with.

And then you just

Joe D’Eramo: fix it, right. Yeah, the blank pages, you know, and talk about tools. I mean, that’s 1 of the biggest challenges people who write for, or have to write for their work from home job or in general, but the blank page is the worst. And that’s a lot of the tools I’ve developed over the years are just kind of.

Basically doing like a brain dump, like when I’m stuck and it’s not often because I usually can figure it out, but I’ll write things down by hand, just [00:27:00] anything that’s in my mind, whether it’s the weather or whatever, and eventually you by writing everything down in your mind for like 10 minutes, you come on to the topic you’re supposed to write about and, uh, that that tends to work.

I’ve also one of the beauties of, um, technology now is just talking out whatever it is you want to write. So you can record your voice. You can actually interact. Basically, you’re dictating, so it may look like gibberish, but if you just, you know, I have to write about, uh, this printer on my desk, it prints 10 pages.

You know, just if you talk it out, eventually you’re going to see the stuff you want in it. And then it’s just a matter of editing down and putting in the things you want. And, uh, so there’s a lot of tools like that I use. Are, are

Tim Melanson: all these things, do you think they would also be applicable to writing songs?

Joe D’Eramo: Oh, absolutely. Oh, totally. You know, and, and back when you, when you listen to interviews with, with songwriters and musicians, what’s, what’s the thing they say about the head song? It took me 10 minutes [00:28:00] because they finally, because once they got it, it was like, boom, boom, boom. It went like that. You know, the songs and lyrics.

I’m a, I’m a big Tom Fetty fan and I’ve watched a few documentaries on him and he was, it was amazing. He said lyrics for songs would take him 10 minutes. Because he’d start riffing and it’s, it’s very similar. If you’re writing anything, you just start riffing and it’s sooner or later, it comes to you. It may take some while to get, it may take some time to get you in that place where you can get it down.

But once you’re, once you’re there, you’re there.

Tim Melanson: So it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your business.

Joe D’Eramo: I’m really excited about my home office hack, which is no surprise. I mean, it’s my, it’s my, my pet project. I’ve been doing it for two years, but it really kind of. Is the embodiment of an idea I had 10 years ago to write about, um, working from home people weren’t doing it back then.

And I was so busy doing my work that I never got around to making it the blog. I want it to be. Uh, and [00:29:00] then when the pandemic hit, I noticed. 1 of the people I used to like to read on Facebook was Dan rather. And I didn’t see his. His group on, on Facebook anymore, it was on this thing called Substack. And that’s when I said, well, you know what, I’m going to write this blog idea I had into a Substack.

And it was kind of like, it was just a labor of love because I’ve always loved writing newsletters. I write newsletters for about a dozen clients. I think it’s the most cost effective way to market a business. And so it’s something I preach and preach and preach to all my clients. It’s like once a week, once a month, somewhere or somewhere in between.

Whether they read it or not is almost irrelevant. You need to tap on the glass and to let people know you’re there and put yourself front of mind. And we get all hung up on ROI and how much business you’re getting from it. And it’s a process. And unfortunately, a lot of small business clients will [00:30:00] think, you know, they’ll kind of, you know, half ass it a little bit, and they won’t really devote, you know, you have to, it has to be an ongoing campaign.

It really does. If you put out one newsletter, It’s not going to do anything. You put out one press release, you know, but the thing is, is that you have so many resources within your website that you, you probably, if you have a blog, or even if you just have an about us or frequently asked questions, you have content available to you to use in a newsletter, to use in your social, there’s all sorts of stuff available.

So you can fill it up quite easily and I recommend outsourcing it just because if you’re a owner of a business and you’re doing your own marketing, It’s a lot. A newsletter needs to go out in a timely fashion. Mine goes out 8. 08 every Monday morning, like clockwork. And I’ve actually had people say on the few times that I’ve been a little late, or if I’ve had some glitches, what happened?

I didn’t see it until, you know, late, later in the morning. Like, yeah, I don’t know. Had a good weekend. [00:31:00] Had a good weekend. So, I mean, that’s, that’s what I’m, I’m most excited about, uh, in marketing this business, and doing podcasts like this, and just… I’m, I’m really excited about finding out other people’s stories about how they work at home and learning from them as much as they learn from me.

And that’s something I try to bring to every conversation I have, whether it’s a podcast or just networking is like, I want to give you something of value so that you’re leaving the conversation with something you can go back to your office and put in play that day. And that excites me as you can probably see that gets me kind of jazzed that and coffee.


Tim Melanson: Yeah. I’ve got my coffee here too. Right on. Well, that’s awesome. So how do we

Joe D’Eramo: find out more about this? Uh, more about my business, you can go to my website, highroadcommunications. com. Um, my newsletter is, uh, on Substack. It’s called My Home Office Hacks. Uh, the URL is I work from home. [00:32:00] substack. com and like I said, it’s published every week and you can reach out if I can put you on there.

We, we do offer a paid membership. It’s like seven bucks a month. So basically if you buy me coffee twice, uh, I’ll give you, I’ll give you some tips that you can, like I said, put into play today, save you time, which will make you money.

Tim Melanson: Of course, absolutely. And especially from someone who’s been working from home for so long,

Joe D’Eramo: right?

It’s something, it’s, it’s, I often entertain the thought of going back to an office. My daughter will be in college and it’s, you know, it’s, there’s an appeal to it, to being around people. But there’s also like, I’m going to lose a lot of freedom. I’m still part of the sandwich generation where I’ve got senior care.

So, pros and cons to both. I don’t think one is the answer over the other, but I think… Whether I do that or not, I’m always going to be working from home on something because it’s just become part of my lifestyle. Yeah,

Tim Melanson: I think the best, the only thing I would do maybe would be get one of those like co working [00:33:00] spaces and…

Yeah, maybe go there a couple of days a week or something. Right. That

Joe D’Eramo: was, that was kind of one of the, you know, I talked about the blessings of COVID. I would say that was one of the casualties, unfortunately, because those were really peaking and now they’re starting to come back as people are feeling safer to be out there.

But, um, yeah, no, I, I would consider that too. And sources I found was my alma mater offers that to alumni. And other businesses, a lot of people, it was very reasonable cost to, so if you’re looking for that type of situation and you live near your college or a college, um, you may not have considered checking in with them, but a lot of them will offer that.


Tim Melanson: Well, thanks so much. My home office stacks. Go check it out. Sounds like it’s a, it’s an awesome resource. And thanks so much for rocking out with me today, Joe. Oh,

Joe D’Eramo: Tim. Thanks for having me. This has been fun.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. To the listeners. Make sure you subscribe, rate, and comment. We’ll see you next time with the work at home.

Rockstar podcast. Thanks

Joe D’Eramo: for listening to learn how you can become a work at [00:34:00] home rockstar or become a better one. Head on over to work at home rockstar. com today.

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