Dubai entrepreneur sticks to stress-free path on financial journey

Lilliam Pollard, the founder of Ewalls decorative wall sticker company in Dubai, describes her financial journey and explains why she has to rein in her impulsive streak.

Lilliam Pollard, the CEO & founder of E-Walls.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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Lilliam Pollard is originally from Brazil but has been in Dubai for five years — which she says feels like forever. Before that she was travelling the world working on cruise ships and lived in South Africa for two years. She founded E-Walls, a decorative wall sticker company, a little over three years ago. She has a background in marketing, graphic design and hospitality.

How would you describe your financial journey so far?

The road has been tough and has definitely had its speed bumps but slowly I can see the results of my hard work and dedication. It’s been hard to grow [the business] as fast as I want to because I’ve had to put up all the money myself, without investment, so I think that has made it harder. You also don’t realise that there will be so many hidden costs when you start out, which of course makes it all the more difficult but a lot has to be said for persistence and commitment.

Would you call yourself a spender or a saver?

Right now, I’m a spender. We’re in the middle of moving to a new studio so that’s proving to a much bigger spend than I’d hoped but after that and a few other developments the saving will happen.

What is your philosophy towards money?

I tend not to worry too much about it. The great thing about money is that you can always make more and I’m sticking to that ethos. I also try not to put too much pressure on money either; if you do I think it becomes a lot more stressful. And who wants added stress?

Did you make any financial mistakes along the way?

Yes. I think everyone does though. I’m impulsive and a little impatient so when I decided to choose the “easier” and “cheaper” path it backfired. I’ve learnt that the cheaper option is either never actually that easy or has so many extra costs that it ends up as the most expensive. Also, no matter how much research you do into these financial decisions, there will always be extra hoops to jump through or more balls to keep in the air to make it happen. I’m learning to not get too stressed out from these mistakes … I learn from them.

Do you believe in planning for the future?

I think it’s important to plan for the important things and set targets, but things happen that you can’t account or plan for so you have to be flexible enough to make changes along the way. Again, as an impulsive person, changes can happen quickly so I have to make sure that any changes that are made are done for the right reasons and better my company in the long term.

How important is money to you?

Money isn’t the reason I started this business. That decision came from my passion for it. I am a big believer in loving what you do. Having said that, money is important; without it there is not much you can do. I try not to stress about it and instead focus on the business as a whole, not just the money.

What is your idea of financial freedom?

Financial freedom is much more than having money. To me it means being able to grow and develop with my customers and keep them interested and happy with the service I provide. I want world domination, and that isn’t easy. You have to be patient.

What do you enjoy spending money on?

Travel — without a doubt! I don’t get many holidays but I love travelling the world and experiencing new cultures. A little extra pocket money to spend in the Mall wouldn’t go a miss though.