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Erica Wolfe-Murray left home at sixteen with no career plan. After supporting herself through her A-levels she moved to London and stumbled across copywriting, the creativity of which caught her attention. Like almost every aspiring creative, it took a “year of writing for anyone that would give (her) work” before Erica found her dream role at the Conran Design Group, where she combined her passion for design and interiors with her writing skills, and never looked back. What followed was a diverse and exciting career, one that inspired Erica’s award-nominated book Simple Tips, Smart Ideas: Build a Bigger, Better Business.
Simple Tips, Smart Ideas: Build a Bigger, Better Business combines the insight, knowledge and expertise garnered from Erica’s years of experience. By her mid-twenties, Erica was running a small design company and was mastering a new industry in the successful launch of a documentary production company. Wind the clock on a few years, with four children and multiple businesses rapidly scaling, Erica was still working from a cupboard in her children’s playroom.
Finding herself “stretched too thin”, she abandoned the design world to become financial director of the production company. After several years of international growth, it was time to find a new business pursuit to make her “heart sing”.
She found it in the launch of her consultancy: Lola. Lola works with creative, cultural and tech companies to help them grow their intellectual assets and IP, to build new products and services from their existing capabilities, and to develop resilience through wider value and revenue models. Since launching in 2011 it has thrived, inspiring the publication of Erica’s book Simple Tips, Smart Ideas.
Simple Tips, Smart Ideas is packed full of tips, case studies and industry insights to inspire micro-companies, freelancers and start-ups. To encourage inspiration, Erica decided to have her book designed with blank spaces where readers can “scribble ideas” and write and draw easily. Even amid constant digital innovation, Erica recognises the significance of a physical book, and the power of pen and paper. “Working with the number of clients that I do, I have noticed that very few of them use their laptops/phones to take notes”. While so much of life is digital, ideas are best kept on paper, or a book! “I want it (Simple Tips, Smart Ideas) to get battered, be loved, turned to when you need a little help”.
Erica is a champion of micro-companies, freelancers and start-ups, and her story demonstrates that with the right set of tools, knowledge, and the harnessing of your “unique route” to successful business, you can separate yourself from the crowd and scale a successful business. “No-one else will have the same life-journey ever again. By harnessing this you can create a company that can outperform competitors”. This is the core message of Simple Tips, Smart Ideas, a business book unlike any other filled with colour, illustrations, diagrams and guidance to help you build a bigger, better business.
Simple Tips, Smart Ideas has been nominated for the Business Book Awards in the ‘Self-development’ category. Take a look at the full shortlist here, and find out more about Erica by visiting her website.