MANILA -- Millennials can undoubtedly think of more than dozen terms to fit a new description for something or somebody. Previously, a young office employee complained to his boss about experiencing a “quarter life crisis” and opted to take a leave from work.
Now comes the term “serial entrepreneur,” to describe someone who has taken on a number of challenging jobs as a young professional. Apparently, that is the term that Dorelene Dimaunahan has tagged to herself.
Dimaunahan has involvements in various industries. She teaches in universities and conducts trainings for different companies. She is a business coach, host, editor, mentor, author and yes, a “serial entrepreneur,” venturing in different businesses since 2008.
Dimaunahan graduated from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) under the Master of Science in Management Program. “I took a five-year program at the University of Asia and the Pacific and from there, I was already geared to become an entrepreneur and consultant,” Dimaunahan said.
“I then enrolled in the PhD in Business program at De La Salle University (DLSU), because I wanted to write books and become more involved in research.
“As part of my plans, I took my Bachelor of Science in Accountancy program at the Philippine School of Business and Administration in Quezon City and will be back in law school after the pandemic.”
Dimaunahan is also a Certified Franchise Executive, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Human Resources Practitioner.
“I love learning,” she disclosed. “It balances my life. I choose the courses which will help me in business consultancy, so I can help others more. That’s the reason I took up program courses.”
Right after she graduated from the UA&P, Dimaunahan immediately set up her business ventures. “I started with a management consulting firm and events management company,” she said.
“Today, I am also involved in IT business, as well as a social enterprise that provides accounting and HR support services. I could say that I already know the industries I’d like to be in at this point.”
Moving forward, Dimaunahan no longer sees herself in business operations, but more on strategic planning. “My intention now is to continue to share knowledge through learning events and books, using various digital platforms,” she said.
She is presently an educator in different universities and colleges, such as DLSU, Ateneo De Manila University, UA&P and Center for Culinary Arts.
She also hosts V81 Radio Worldwide’s “Startup Nation” and “Talk Shop Asia.” She coaches small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), social enterprises and conducts trainings for various companies.
Dimaunahan wears different hats, but seems to manage her time really well. Yes, she experienced difficulties, but she has also found the right businesses for her.
As a consultant, Dimaunahan specializes in various entrepreneurship and management areas, such as but not limited to, business startup, setup and expansion, strategic planning and audit, franchise management, organizational behavior, project and portfolio management, human resources management and market research. She is also known for her training in “managing millennials” and is known as a “millennial strategist.”
She renders pro-bono work for CORA (Communities Organized for Resource Allocation), a non-profit organization dedicated to creating programs that help solve global issues centered on hunger, poverty, inequality and climate change.
WORKING WITH ANTOINETTE TAUS
For this NGO, Dimaunahan works with actress-singer-TV host and humanitarian Antoinette Taus, her friend since grade school at O.B. Montessori in Greenhills.
“Working for CORA is my way of giving back, which I have always wanted to do at one point in my life,” Dimaunahan said. “Of course, it’s also a form of support to Antoinette, who is like family.
“The satisfaction and feeling is definitely unexplainable. Once you know that you are making a difference in society, the happiness can never be equated to any amount of money.”
Dimaunahan actually met Taus through the latter’s younger brother, Tom, her barkada since grade school. “I actually started working with Tom first and then one day, during a catch up in a restaurant in Makati with Antoinette, everything just fell into place,” Dimaunahan recalled.
“I remember that ‘TGIS’ was a hit then, so that’s what we called our group. That was back in 1994, when we were still in grade school. Of course, we supported and loved that show because Antoinette was there.
“Our school was composed of boys and girls. We had a balanced life. It was not just home and school every day. We also tried out other places like the old Hard Rock Café [in Makati].”
For CORA, Dimaunahan handles finance and other business-related matters where she is often needed. “I’m more of the back-office person, where I look at numbers and paperwork,” she admitted.
“Antoinette and the rest are the ones doing all the field work. They are the frontliners. CORA is her baby and she best exemplifies the brand and does a great job being in the limelight.”
When asked about her working relationship with Taus, Dimaunahan insisted they complement each other in “many ways,” considering they have different strengths and weaknesses.
They have a lot of common experiences at work and in life. “Our past experiences are both good and bad,” she said. “We both serve as sources of inspiration and passion for us to become stronger and attain our ultimate goals.”
Dimaunahan also spearheaded “COVID Diaries: A Millennial Collaboration,” an advocacy that chronicles interesting and important accounts at the onset of this pandemic. It covers creative news, documentaries and even entertainment.
“I am a mentor to a lot of students and millennials,” she beamed. “I’m a research enthusiast and I love writing. During the pandemic, I wanted to start a ‘casebook’ initially or a diary to document everything. However, I wanted it to become more creative, entertaining and worthwhile.”
She tapped former students from Ateneo and La Salle to form part of the core team. “It was very timely since their strengths balanced the platform. It was meant to be. I work best with the teams. I train, delegate and make sure to trust that they can deliver, most especially during these trying times.”
Initially, there were six students doing research, while two did copywriting and one did creatives. “We did not expect this ‘COVID Diaries’ to be accepted widely right away,” Dimaunahan said. “That is why we grew from six to 20. We even have a lot of entrepreneurs supporting us.
“We now have creatives team, social media team, translators, researchers and copywriters. Just like one of our segments, our culture here is #justchill. We hone and balance whatever strengths we have. I sincerely love this advocacy and feel inspired everyday.”
When they started creating documentaries, receiving e-mails and getting invites to share their experiences on air and reading articles about them, everything simply made them want to do better, according to Dimaunahan. Soon, “COVID Diaries” will be made available in digital and print.
Throughout her 12-year professional career, Dimaunahan is proud to admit she does not regret anything that came her way or happened in her life. True, she experienced challenges in handling people, choosing the right businesses and even working with business partners. Yet, the disappointments and challenges may well be her learning curves to move forward.
“I know I have a lot more to experience,” she said. “Cutting ties with former friends or clients because of miscommunication or misalignments in beliefs were difficult to surpass. But I believe that time heals all wounds.
“I recently proved that personally. In fact, I was very happy to receive an e-mail from a previous partner I had a misunderstanding with. I did not think twice to reply and thanked God for such a miracle.”
Aware that she values relationships the most, Dimaunahan also painfully learned when to cut ties. “The toughest part of business for me is breaking up or having to decide to end a business relationship,” she honestly admitted. “Not because the business is not earning, but because our vision, mission, values do not match. In any business, this alignment is very important.
“The same goes with clients. I’ve had experiences wherein I decided not to continue because the trust isn’t there. All relationships start with trust and from there, relationships are fostered.”
It is not surprising for Dimaunahan to eventually become a “serial entrepreneur” and get entrenched in different kinds of businesses that subsequently became aces up her sleeves. From the time she was six, she remembers she was already pre-occupied.
“My mom made me a daily schedule for me to balance school and extra-curricular activities,” she offered. “I was enrolled in theater, dance, voice lessons and I was a concert pianist until I was about 13 years old.
“I was taught the art of time management at a very young age. I guess this is what makes me capable of doing several things, ensuring that I am able to provide quality work. It starts at home and it takes a lot of discipline and is habit-forming, too.”
When she was nine, Dimaunahan won the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA). “Throughout my time as a concert pianist, I became a scholar of the UP Conservatory of Music and UST Conservatory of Music,” she modestly said.
“Truth be told, I wanted to take up Mass Communication, but I listened to my grandfather’s wishes and never did regret it,” she confessed. “From the time I was about seven years old. I already dreamt to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant)-lawyer.
“This is the reason that in spite of all the blessings and opportunities I have, such as teaching and being in business, I still make time to continue my studies.”
Prior to the enhanced community quarantine, Dimaunahan got out of bed as early as 4:30 a.m. then started her day at 6 a.m. “I started driving to the universities where I teach and stayed there until lunch time,” she shared. “After having lunch, I went to our office or meet clients until about 5 p.m.
“If I finished early, I would go to a nearly mall, walk around, go to Fully Booked, then ended up trying a new restaurant. After that, I turned into a student again from 6 to 9 p.m.”
However, once the general community quarantine started, Dimaunahan basks in the work-from-home arrangement. “I usually wake up at 5 a.m. with a planned schedule for the week that includes meetings and deadlines,” she stated. “Even if I am in this arrangement, I still work until about midnight because of my body clock.”
On Sundays, Dimaunahan hosts “Startup Nation” from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, followed by “Talk Shop Asia” from 1 to 3 p.m. Both are programs of V81 Worldwide.
“In doing so, I feel very relaxed,” she allowed. “Because I know that I am part of a great team that is there to provide entertainment to people.”
A devout Catholic, Dimaunahan finds time to attend church on Sundays (before the ECQ), notwithstanding her busy schedule.
Now that she is becoming an inspiration to many and slowly creating a name on the business scene, Dimaunahan insists this is her way of paying it forward. Even then, everything just simply doesn’t end there.
“Trust, relationships and sincere commitment are the important keys,” Dimaunahan stressed. “At this point, I still have a lot to learn, which is why I still continue to study and connect with mentors, who keep me grounded all the time.”
To date, Dimaunahan has earned respect not just from her students, but also from aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners because of her admirable values in life. No wonder, she has been sought after for her coaching and mentorship.
“If you want to achieve something, be it personal or professional, pray for it and focus on the goal,” Dimaunahan maintained. “For sure, you will experience lots of challenges and you will not be able to please everyone. But as long as you are decided to achieve your ultimate dream, in due time, you most definitely will.
“It’s really a matter of choice. If you want something, you will make time for it. For me, I strongly believe that if that path is one that God has set for you, then it shall definitely happen. In His perfect time.”