A new book about the lives of outstanding Australian businesswomen features a woman who is from the Philippines and under the age of 30. Diane Villavieja shares her story.
Women on Top - Against the odds
A new book titled ‘Women on top – against the odds’ was published in Australia early this month. Diane Villavieja, one of the businesswomen featured in the book hopes that her story will inspire others to follow their dreams, even when the going gets tough.
Diane herself suffered four business ‘failures’ before she finally made it. She ran a hamper business, a clothing label, a café and a clothing store – none of which worked out the way she had hoped. But lessons learnt from these ventures helped her in her latest business, an online marketing company called QuantumLinx. The company helps small businesses generate sales leads or sales from search engines.
QuantumLinx grew from a small home-based business with three partners to a multi-million dollar company with 25 staff across three countries. Not bad for someone who’s under 30 and at one point hit rock bottom financially.
Diane’s story is also inspirational because it will resonate with many Filipinos who migrated to Australia. Her family moved to Australia when she was only nine, selling all they’ve got in the Philippines to set up a new life here, only to discover that her dad couldn’t find a steady job. In the end her dad took a job in the US and saw Diane and the rest of the family once a year.
“Awareness that my dad was away from us for financial reasons made me want to help out my family financially … I sometimes held multiple jobs at once while studying, just so I could earn more money,” said Diane in the book.
But running her own company has always been her dream so at 17, she started her hamper business, the first stepping stone to where she is today.
“Our team has directly impacted close to six hundred local Australian businesses and even more internationally. We currently generate tens of millions of dollars annually for our clients and are growing every year ourselves,” she said.
Diane Villavieja - Quantumlinx co-founder
Diane said her greatest achievement to date is setting up QuantumLinx with her business partners without resorting to outside financial help. There were no bank loans or angel investors, just $1,000 in cash and the family garage.
“[In] the beginning … I would put on different voices and pretended to be a receptionist when our clients contacted us. Then I’d pass the phone to myself.”
She added, “We were scared that our dog Patch would bark at the wrong time or in the midst of a sales pitch.”
Those days are long gone and the company has moved out of the garage and into a proper office. But Diane said that despite all the hardships, she would do it all over again. She said her past failures are now her present knowledge. “I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to start over.”
You can find out more about Diane’s business on www.quantumlinx.com or email her direct on firstname.lastname@example.org.