Yesterday, 2nd of November of 2018 I was invited to speak for a class of international students in Copenhagen, at the Copenhagen Business College.

These students came from Nepal, India, and Bangladesh

When I asked the teacher/tutor who contacted me for more more information and to brief me a bit about their background, she shared that most of them were enrolled in a programme that serves as a pre-masters degree or as most formally known as Graduate Certificate of International Business.

Speaking to students from such different nationalities and backgrounds was a blessing. These folks are fighters, that decided to come all the way from their countries not only to experience a very different culture as well as to sharpen their skills.

About my speech.

The name of the teacher who found me is Nuria Lopez. She is a very sympathetic woman, formerly from Spain who lived for over 15 years in the U.K with her husband and children, who were born in the U.K. Over the past four years she’d been residing in Denmark.

Nuria found me through an article I wrote for the Copenhagen Post, an English publication mostly directed at foreigners based in Denmark.

In the article I rant about the need for getting practical rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity to start executing something. Anyway, back to my speech yesterday.

The speech was about my journey to Denmark and how Biassa was born, I covered the following points:

  • Marrying A Dane in Brazil
  • What I’ve learned as an Intern at the Danish Consulate and Siemens
  • Why I built Denmark
  • How I landed my first customer because of content ( and Linkedin)
  • Why it is more important to do things rather than wait for the “perfect opportunity.”
  • The importance of generating content in our day and age
  • How being rejected over three hundred times via email as a job seeker fired me up and helped me learn how to use Linkedin more adequately

So after framing my ” big picture”  we started our chat.

I was impressed that they had already read my blog posts and had prepared a list with over 30 questions about entrepreneurship, life in Denmark, work-life balance, dealing with rejection, how to start a business, social media, etc.

I was humbled and genuinely thankful to Nuria to be able to share a bit of my journey with them. Unfortunately, I had not much time after the presentation to sit down with each one of them and learn about their adventures as well.

The respect and curiosity that they have shown towards my history are genuinely humbling.

If I could share one main take away to anyone who’s reading this text I’d say:

Get rid of the negative people in your life. They will take you to some dark places. When living in a foreign country, you will more than ever to be strong and to look for positive vibes. It is quite common to fall on the trap of finding someone from the same country where you come from, then start whining about why you are where you are and how better your country of origin is. Avoid this at any cost. Look for the doers, for the positive ones and for those who are going to lift you up.

You will be doing a huge favor to yourself.

In 2016, I was tasked by a client to help them increase their sales and industry presence in the UK market, specifically with the top 200 fashion and apparel brands and retailers in the region.

The challenge for me was, unlike in my home country of Brazil, I had only five business connections in the UK; hardly a robust portfolio. If I wanted to succeed in the UK, I was going to have to grow my network almost from scratch.

Despite my lack of initial contacts, I grew my network to over 300 connections, many of which were major players in eCommerce and apparel in the UK, Dubai, Turkey, and Romania. These contacts lead to 11 meetings (I’m talking whales) with some of the largest e-Commerce players in the World and a grand total of 2.132.000 USD in new business opportunity to the pipeline of my client.

I credit my success to a sales technique that, while often used by larger sales teams, is less commonly utilized by individuals and smaller teams: a sales cadence.

Sales Cadence has yielded great results for me in building business relationships in the UK ( for the most part ) and structuring my approach to sales. Here is a short crash course on what a sales cadence is, the benefits of using one and the exact sales cadence I use to land meetings with major apparel players in the UK, Dubai, Turkey, and Romania.

Sales Cadence, Quickly Defined

I have noticed that smaller teams and individuals working in sales seem to either be not aware of what sales cadence is or think something like a sales cadence only applies to larger sales teams at big companies.

This is not the case. As you will see, everyone can benefit from using a sales cadence to define his or her sales process.

For the uninitiated, a sales cadence is a structured system for the frequency that you (or your team) reach out to prospective clients and the methods that you use to contact them. Here is an example from the ringDNA blog, provided by SalesHacker CEO, Max Altschuler:

  • Day 1: Email/Inmail
  • Day 3: Email in the morning, Call in the afternoon
  • Day 5: Call in the morning, Call with a voicemail in the afternoon
  • Day 7: Email in the morning, Call in the afternoon with a voicemail
  • Day 10: Email and call in the morning

Sales cadences vary greatly between individuals, teams, and organizations, but they all have the following in common: the frequency, method of contact and time of contact are structured and consistent.

And it is this consistency and structure that makes them so effective.

Advantages of a Sales Cadency, Even for Individuals

Whether you are a team of 1 or team of 50, implementing a well-defined sales cadence can provide a huge boost to the efficiency and effectiveness of your client prospecting process. Here are just a few of the advantages you can expect from a well-defined sales cadence:

Focused Effort

Chickens with their heads cut off run fast, but they don’t run very far. For many of us, this all too closely resembles our haphazard approach to networking and sales efforts: lots of unstructured effort.

Sometimes we call a prospect and then send them a follow-up email. Other times we wait a day to send the follow-up email. Sometimes we wait a day and then forget to send an email at all. Or, the most embarrassing, we lose track of where we are in our sales process and send the same email, or make the same call, twice. It is a mess.

With a sales cadence, it is far easier to track where you are in the sales or networking process. You always send a follow-up or you always contact prospective clients every two days. With more clearly defined rules for your sales strategy, you never risk sending the same email twice or missing steps in the sales process.

Easy Tracking = Easy Refinement

Once you start using a clearly defined sales cadence, it is much easier to track and refine your sales process. Imagine you have a 5-step process you can view in a simple CRM software. With a quick glance, you can see clearly at what stage you are at with each client, as well as at which steps you tend to lose contact with your prospects.

Using this information, you can begin refining your approach. If you can see that cold-calling tends to be more effective the later in the process that you use it, you can adjust your approach to make calls only once you have established a relationship via email or Linkedin messaging.

Having that data and ability to refine your process is a powerful tool you can use to continually optimizing your sales approach.


You may be able to get away with using the Headless-Chicken sales approach when you have one or two clients, but when you begin working with five, eight or ten clients at a time–or you begin employing a small sales team–scalability becomes an issue. It just isn’t possible to track in your head where each client is in your sales process or keep your sales strategy aligned across a small team.

Having a clearly defined sales cadence solves that scalability issue. Not only is it easier for you as an individual to organize and track where your different prospects are in your sales funnel, it also makes it easier to enlist others to work with you. A simple one-page flowchart is enough to illustrate to any new sales reps you hire the exact sales strategy you are implementing, and they can begin making calls and interacting with clients immediately.

How I Used a Sales Cadence to Land Meetings with 11 of the Largest e-Commerce Players in the World

Using a sales cadence can be a powerful tool if you know how to implement one. I want to share some practical advice about developing your own sales cadence, starting from developing your target lead list, all the way through to landing a client. To do that, I will share the process that resulted in my meetings with some of the biggest players in eCommerce of the World ( and the right decision makers): Farfetch, Debenhams, Ted Baker are just some to name a few.

Step 1: Preparation or Onboarding

Define Your Search Criteria

People often misstep from the very beginning by not having a clear understanding of who their target clients are and they end up going after any and every client they can think of. While enticing, this strategy lacks efficiency. Why spend time chasing prospects that you are not best equipped to serve?

Before doing anything else, you need to make sure you understand who your prospects are. Here are a few questions you can answer for yourself to narrow down who you want to target:

  • What industry am I best equipped to serve?
  • At what business stage is my ideal client at? Start-up? Funded? Multi-national?
  • What region do I want to focus on?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should help to get you started towards narrowing who you want to focus your efforts towards.

Know Your Prospect:

Once you have an idea of whom you want to target, it is critical to know some basic characteristics about the prospective client. To do this, you should know at least the following about your targets:

  1. Company name
  2. Number of employees
  3. Company location
  4. Dream internal contact (who would you most want to talk to given the chance?)
  5. Realistic contact (who do you think you can realistically talk to)
  6. How many people you want to target for the account (total of numbers 4 and 5)
  7. What social media sites do the company and your contacts from steps 4 and 5 use?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you have a very clear picture of who you want to target and help you spend less time chasing bad leads.

Source Contact Information

With a social media presence being a near-must today, contact information has never been made more readily available. Emails can be found looking on company websites or through a quick Twitter or Linkedin search. You can also use search tools such as or Lead IQ. Having this contact information readily available and organized can help keep your process efficient. Another pretty cool tool I like to use is rapportive and most recently I started using which gives me a pretty good idea about my prospect (ie something about him/her in the media,etc). Feedly is also a great tool to curate content and eventually even find articles about a potential prospect.

Understand Their World

When you begin reaching out to prospects, you want to illustrate that you are writing specifically to them, and that you have something unique to offer. To do that, it is important to understand everything you can about them and their business. Before sending your first communication, you should at least know the following about your prospect:

  • What are your prospect’s pain points?
  • What might they be afraid of?
  • What changes are taking place in their market?
  • Who are their competitors?

Knowing the answers to the questions from the previous three sections will help you stand out from the crowd when you begin reaching out to your prospective client. You will be able to demonstrate you understand their business, cite specifics challenges they are likely facing, and reach out through the channels that give you the highest likelihood for success.

I believe marketing and sales should AL-WAYS be in full alignment. Building a persona can be a daunting task. So if you are in sales and marketing isn’t really being quite helpful I’d suggest you use this free amazing tool from Hubspot There you can start building your persona based on the experience you already have.

Step 2: Developing Your Sales Cadence

Now that you know who your targets are, you know about their industry, and you know how best to reach them, it is time to start making contact with them. Below is the general sales cadence I use, which involves both old-school methods (cold-calls) and new skills methods (social media interaction). The idea here is to surround your prospect with a valuable approach. The great thing about a cadence is that you can add different approaches until you earn the right to ask something from your prospects.

A word of advice:

I started with a very limited number of connections in the U.K and grew it over time. It is important to emphasize that my goal was to establish contact and meetings with Tier 1 Players in the U.K in the first place and then | Dubai| Turkey| Romania unfolded due to referrals and opportunities I’d noticed on LinkedIn.

Total Companies contacted: 90

Total Responses: 21

Positive Responses: 11 ( Either had a meeting or agreed to move forward with Demo)

Negative: 10

In Progress: 11

No Response: 58

2-3 contact points ( professionals) per company

On average** I needed 46 touches per contact 

That, of course, is an average as some companies like Debenhams ( + 70 touches) or Farfetch I touched over 300 times to get to the meeting

Breaking it down day by day ( and why I follow this sequence)

Day 1

Mapping out- This is where I start to have a more deep understanding about your prospects World, what they like, share, where are they present, what do they care about and if they are using social media ( at all) or not. I will follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook on the first day.

Day 2

Inmail via LinkedIn. The idea is to start building familiarity. Be personal in your messaging

Day 3

If the prospect hasn’t responded, send another Inmail on top of the first one. If you have a Linkedin premium account your are going to appreciate this function as you don’t have to use a new credit to send an Inmail following your first Inmail

Day 4

A short and sweet cold email.

Day 5

Another email following the first email.

Day 6

“Cold call”. This call isn’t that cold because you have already tried different forms of contact such as Inmail and email and presumably you have studied the prospect.

Day 7

I will share an article and tag my potential buyer’s name

( Why? I want to be top of mind and get their attention)- I will repeat this throughout the cadence several times. With one prospect in special, besides following the cadence i “touched” him over 300 times. I got the meeting.

Day 8

Send a video email. I’ve been trying this out for some time and it’s working like a charm. I don’t understand why larger teams don’t use it. Basically, I record a video with my phone, upload it to youtube, and bam. Send it to my potential buyer.

Day 9:

Nudge on LinkedIn ( either connect or share article tagging name)

Day 10:

“Cold Call” 2. Yes I leave a voice message, always.

Day 11

Email from Director** Really important as it has improved the responses by 45%

Day 12

Cold call, video email or just an email. Tried all to give the prospect urgency and they work fine.

Obs: Whilst I follow the cadence, I will try to find my buyer on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin. Basically, I surround them with different content/approach for each one of the different medias

Try this during 22 days per contact/company

If you are a visual person, try checking the mind map below.

Wrap up

The main challenge I had when I started in the U.K was the fact that my network was quite small. As time went on and I grew my network, build trust with others things also started to happen. More importantly, not only I managed to get meetings with some very large companies in the U.K, I have also managed to get meetings with TIER 1 e-commerce players ( and the right decision makers) in Dubai, Turkey, and Romania.

There is a lot of talks whether social selling works or not. To me, social is a great support to humanize conversations as it allows us to gather an infinite amount of data about the potential buyers you are trying to target. Whether you are using social or using traditional methods to prospect, the truth is. There is no short cut. It is a lot of work. It is hard, but quite rewarding as well.




About me

My name is Carlos Monteiro. I’m the CEO and founder of Biassa. We help companies to accelerate their sales process internationally, using technology and talent. I also write occasionally for The Copenhagen Post and maintain a portal called

I’d love to hear your feedback and to learn more how are you developing your sales efforts. You are most welcome to drop me a line @

In June of 2013, I moved from my home of Brazil to Denmark. Unsure of my job prospects in a new country, I created a blog called I wanted to use my unique knowledge of the Brazilian market and ability to make connections between people to position myself as an expert for bridging the knowledge gap of those in Denmark interested in entering the Brazilian market.

Three years later, not only is going strong, but I have also built my own company, Biassa, helping companies around the world accelerate their sales and grow their business.

Content, in its various forms, has been a critical component of the success of both DenmarkBrazil and Biassa. Content has helped us gain visibility within our industry, catch the attention of other influencers and decision makers, and most importantly, to grow our business.

Using content effectively is challenging, but when done correctly, it is incredibly powerful. Developed through trial and error, the strategies below are how I have maximized the potential of digital content to help grow my businesses.

Strategy #1: Video Interviews & Content

If you are not currently publishing video content, I highly recommend that you start. I have seen first hand just how powerful video content can be for my own businesses, and if I were to start all over again, video content would central to my digital content strategy. Below is my experience with video content, and some of the benefits I have enjoyed from it.

The Power of Video

I’ve long been convinced that video content is a powerful tool for both personal and company branding. Recently, we experienced just how powerful video content can be first hand at Biassa.

Here’s what happened: we published a video interview with the founder of a fast-growing Danish startup and e-commerce solution provider. The interview was released both on our blog — — as well as on my LinkedIn profile.

Overnight, the CEO and founder of a well-renowned E-commerce company in LATAM sent me a direct message on LinkedIn and invited my business partner and I to visit his new office in the U.K and have a conversation with him. We couldn’t believe it: in less than 24 hours our video interview had landed us a major business opportunity.

We left the U.K that day with what would become the most important deal of our lives until that moment.

Of course, you could say: “Carlos, this is just dumb luck!” And in a way, that is true. We were not looking to engage in a conversation directly with that particular CEO. However, we knew the potential impact and added value we were providing our audience because we tirelessly test and refine the way we develop and share our content to maximize its impact. We know our content is relevant to our network. We know we are providing the insights that potential clients are looking for. We know our content packs a punch.

I would never guarantee anyone that the CEO of a specific company will reach out to you after watching your video or reading a post you have written. But I can guarantee that the more content you publish, the greater the chances are that you catch the eye of someone important.

And with content, getting yourself in front of important and influential eyes is the ultimate goal.

Benefits of Interviewing other Professionals

Interviewing other professionals has a multitude of benefits aside from just publishing more content. An interview can provide a real boost to your business. It helps you establish important relationships, increases your network exponentially, and reach audiences you wouldn’t otherwise reach. Here are a few of the benefits I have found in publishing interviews:

Benefit # 1: Connect with Leaders on a Deeper Level

When you interview someone with the intention of showing their work or ideas to the world, you are giving yourself an opportunity to connect with another human being at a deeper level. Decision makers and leaders are often too busy to take time to reflect on their journey or bigger-picture issues not related directly to their business. Our video interviews provide them a unique sounding board and an opportunity to discuss topics that they may not have a chance to meditate on during a typical work day.

Benefit #2: Help Others Spread Their Message

Over time I’ve learned that decision makers are keen on showing what they know to the world. It is human nature: if you are working on something cool and meaningful, you want other people to know about it and be as excited about it as you are!

The issue is, it can be difficult (and costly) to get your message heard by new audiences and networks. Lacking endorsements or relationships in a network means you are far more likely to be ignored.

Through our video interviews, we have been able to offer decisions makers an easy way to share and spread their ideas to new audiences and networks they may not otherwise share their ideas with. Our network may not know the person we are interviewing, but our network knows us, and that gives our interviewee additional credibility within our network. Social validation in that way is critical and can increase the chances of our leader’s message being heard.

Benefit # 3: Amplify your reach

Accessing new audiences applies to both parties. In the same way the leaders you interview will have their message heard by your audience, you also get access to their network when they share the content on their social media platforms. In my experience, almost 90% of the time the people I interview share the content with their network without me having to ask. In the rare instance that they don’t, I make sure to politely ask them to share the interview, noting that it will help both of us.

The result is that your content is seen by a different network and audience than you otherwise would have access to, and that means more opportunities for new connections, relationships, and potentially new business.

Strategy #2: Play the Long Game & Build Solid Relationships

Whether you are developing blog posts, video interviews or podcasts, reaching out to business leaders and asking for their time can be intimidating.

I certainly felt that way. When I started, I didn’t have a fancy title or an established professional identity in Denmark. If I asked a CEO for an interview and they asked me who I was, I didn’t feel like I had a very impressive answer.

Eventually, I made a few connections, and from there, my confidence grew. Nowadays, I’m much more comfortable asking people for their time. Here are a few strategies I have used to make connections even before I had an established brand or business.

Build Rapport (Especially When Starting Out)

Image Source: Linkedin, Gary V ( adapted)

Gary Vaynerchuck famously calls this strategy “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” and it is a great approach, especially when you are starting out and don’t have an established brand yet. The basic idea is to get yourself on someone’s radar through micro-interactions (Jabs) before asking them for an interview or endorsement or business meeting (Right Hook). Another sales leader I follow, Jack Kosokawlski, has a similar take which he calls “5x value ask”. Jack preaches that in order to speak with a buyer ( it could be an employer as well) you gotta earn this right. In order to earn this right, you should provide “5 x value” and then ask what you want.

How do you initiate micro-interactions? Social media is a great place to start. Retweet their Tweets, suggest an article to them on Facebook, like their Instagram posts, or leave valuable comments on blog posts they have posted on Linkedin. If you are really good, you might even exchange a few pleasantries from time to time.

Once you feel that they are aware of you and, even better, know a little about your brand or business, you can ask for a meeting or interview or guest blog post. This is your right hook, and because you have prepared for it with jabs, you are much more likely to land the punch.

Organically providing leaders some previous knowledge about you or having a few interactions they can reference can really increase the chances you get a positive response when you finally make your big ask. It is a long-game strategy, but it is an effective one.

Do Your Homework

Image Source: Pablo by buffer

I always learn everything I can about a person I’m trying to reach out to. What is their role in their company or industry? What industry niches are they interested in? What specific questions do I have that only they can answer? What personal connections do I have with them that I can leverage (i.e. they faced a business problem in the past that I am facing now).

While it takes a bit of effort, doing your homework helps you come off as genuine. It proves that you are not just sending a mass email to 100 people, but that you want to talk to this specific person about this specific topic. Doing your homework helps them feel valued and lets them know you really care about what they have to say. You would be surprised how willing people are to help you if your approach is genuine.

Be Specific About What You Want

Image source:

Business leaders, influencers and decision makers are busy people. They don’t have the time or effort available to read your mind and figure out what you want from them.

When you make a request of a leader, it is critical to be specific and explicit. In the case of requesting an interview, tell them exactly what you want to do (an interview), how you would like to do it (in person/on camera), how long you think it will take, and give them some idea of what you would like to interview them about. This makes it much easier for them to schedule, as well as increase their confidence that you are not wasting their time.

If they know you would like to chat on camera for a 30-minute interview about immigration in Denmark and its effects on the job market, you can bet you are more likely to get a yes than asking to “chat about jobs in Denmark.” Know what you want, be explicit in asking for it, and you will get more yes’s than you might expect.

Strategy #3. Help Others Out

Image Source: Pablo by buffer

Several of the accounts we have today in our business came because we helped others out. We happily helped get the word out about a business announcement or shared news about a new product or helped someone fill a job vacancy. And while it doesn’t always result in new business, a few times those little favors have bloomed into full-fledged business relationships.

Why help people out without the guarantee of the favor being returned? For one, it is a nice thing to do. I appreciate when people help promote our content by liking, commenting and reposting, so it is only right to help support other people by doing the same.

Helping others out is also another easy way to get on the radar of industry leaders. If they see you consistently sharing their links and commenting on their content, you may just peek their interest enough for them to want to know who you are. And that can be a gateway to conversations and business opportunities.

Strategy #4. Always Be Connecting & Producing Content

Image Source: Pablo by Buffer

Successfully using digital content to grow your network or business is a bit of a numbers game. There are millions of articles, videos, podcast episodes and blog posts. This makes consistency a critical aspect of using content effectively.

One-off blog posts or random video interviews is not going to cut it. You need to be reaching out, making connections, starting conversations and publishing fresh, relevant and interesting content constantly. It is not enough to demonstrate you can provide value one time. You want to establish yourself in your industry and network as a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

When people want to hear important voices talking about relevant issues and topics, they need to think of you first. And to build that reputation, you need to provide value to your network and audience as consistently as possible.

Content can be an incredibly powerful tool for making connections, establishing relationships and building a business. But it isn’t easy, and that is why few are able to do it effectively. It requires a patience and an understanding that it may require six months or a year before you begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor. For those who do it well, the potential power of content is limitless, but it takes time to harness it and utilize it effectively. The payoff is that, once those fruits come to fruition, they can be invaluable.

My name is Carlos Monteiro. I’m the CEO and founder of
We work as an extension of the innovation team of large brands and retailers all over the Globe.

I’m also a regultar contributor to the Copenhagen Post a newspaper dedicated to internationals in Denmark. If you ever would like to read some of my columns and have a peek on how I believe internationals can stand out in such a noisy World, just visit The Copenhagen Post

I’m always opened to a new conversation. If you’d like to contact me just ping me on LinkedIn or drop me a line at

“Time is finite but, unlike money, time is also replenished every second,”

Seth Godin

So as I wish you ‘Happy New Year’, dear readers, here’s hoping you can reach all the goals you’ve set this coming year.

Also I’d like to wish you all a year full of good vibes, positive attitude and, yes, opportunities!

Being an admirer of Godin adds value to my life in a profound manner. I try to keep up to date with his writing, but it’s not always possible.

Too much time

Time wasn’t a problem three and a half years ago when I first arrived in Denmark with my wife Catherine and Ines – at the time our only child.

At that time, we were living at my in-laws and time was passing at a tortoise’s pace – like we like to say in Brazil – and my primary concern was how was I going to find a job.

The only email in my inbox was either some sort of spam or a ‘thank you’ for subscribing to a new cloud-based service from the likes of Google Drive.

Yes, not only did we have plenty of time, but those were desperate times!


Too little time

But things started looking up in 2014, firstly due to the arrival of Cecilia, our two-year-old ‘rocket-fire’ daughter.

By then a lot was happening with me professionally. Time by then as a resource had started to become less available.

And now here I am in 2017 looking back at was has probably been one of my busiest years and the best year I’ve ever had professionally.

Making better use of my time has now accordingly become my new year resolution.

So how do you perceive your time today and what are your new year resolutions for 2017?

In 2013, Carlos Monteiro spoke with Kent Hendricks who at the time was the Managing director of Nacora for the LATAM region.

Nacora is a brokerage firm “that offers insurance solutions tailored to the individual needs of specific industry segments”.

In this interview, Kent talks some of the things that ought to be done by Brazilian authorities in order for Brazil to fulfill its potential and “hit the ground running”.



There are rumors that might be truth regarding South America’s Pre-history:

As it is now well agreed, the first people to discover America wasn’t Columbus and his crew, but it had been long inhabited for thousands by native tribes.

The Viking raiders had been in America long before Columbus. Their presence in North America is well known but did you know that they also sailed down to South America? There is debatable evidence of Norse writing and runes found throughout South America and particularly here in Brazil. Sadly, they left because I can’t help but wonder how Brazil would have been different if they stayed.

The fact that South America remained unsettled by Europeans allowed the Portuguese Empire to colonize Brazil later in history.

Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese Empire and was officially sanctioned as a Portuguese colony at the beginning of the 14th century, more specifically in the year of 1500.

At the time, Portugal was a rich catholic empire whose main commercial activity was commerce and trade. Portugal had strong alliances doing trade and commerce with countries all over Europe and due to the high profits bestowed from India, China and Indonesia the Portuguese crown was carelessly distracted by their other interests. This “little” distraction from the crown in Brazil led to invasions from several countries onto the Brazilian lands. Desperate to find a solution Portugal decided to distribute lands for free in a system known as Hereditary Captaincies.

These captaincies divided Brazil into strips that were donated to Portuguese noblemen who took on the responsibility for that piece of land and, therefore, had to report on a regular basis back to the king which resulted in Brazil being owned by a handful of men. Today, there are still parts of Brazil owned by some of these families.

The system however proved to be extremely inefficient. The lots successfully occupied were São Vicente (in the state of Sao Paulo) and Pernambuco (Northeast). With Portugal´s shift in interest, Brazil became their new exploitation colony. It all began with the extraction of the so-called “Pau-Brasil” or “Brazilian-wood”. Brazil was extremely underdeveloped, and swamped by thousands of local tribes of Indians the only thing the Portuguese were able to work on at first was on the exploitation of this wood. Pau Brasil contained a rare form of ink in its trunk. Using Indian labor to extract the ink, the Portuguese sold it at an overpriced rate all around Europe resulting in huge profits. Sadly the result of this overexploitation of the “Pau Brasil” was nearly the extinction of this tree.

In the meantime, and happening almost simultaneously, the foreign industry of sugarcane started to boost in Brazil, and this later became the cornerstone of the Brazilian economy.

Introduced to Brazil by the Portuguese, the first-sugar mill opened in 1532. At the time, (and still today) sugarcane was high in demand. This perennial grass quickly became famous and in a blink of an eye shifted Europe´s sweet tooth from honey to sugar. Known as “white gold,” sugar swiftly took over the trade market. For the sugar manufacturers and Portuguese empire alike, enormous benefits had as indeed sugar was the new gold, and it was heavily taxed a luxury product.

Indians and the African Slaves

African slavery in Brazil came with the sugar industry. Indians slaves were “too lazy” to get the job done (the Indians had a tendency to flee the job and return to the forests which they knew well), and because they were not resistant to the white man´s diseases, the Portuguese saw no other way but to start importing African slaves to work the plantations. The slaves had no idea whatsoever of what they were coming to.

On top of that they didn´t know the forest as the Indians did which was to the Portuguese´s benefit. This is, of course, is a simplified summary of how slavery first occurred in Brazil.

Slavery in Brazil was the driving force of the sugar business and by 1650, this business started to decline. After this period, by the beginning of the 18th century, gold and diamond mines started to emerge as the “new promising” business which contributed to more African slaves being brought into the Brazilian territory.

Also by the beginning of the 19th century, the rise of the coffee industry started to boom (and it is still alive and well today) which additionally increased the demand for
African slaves. Consequently Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery (in 1888) and according to official data some four million slaves were imported from Africa to Brazil (although this number could be much higher).

Brazilian Recent Economy

The colonization in Brazil has printed a strong mark in Brazilian history and Brazilian economy. Brazil is still a country that strongly relies on its primary sector to achieve commercial surplus in its commercial trade balance.This isn’t only due the colonization in the country but also due to strong political interests

According to the 2013´s report from the Brazilian export Ministry, Brazil´s main exports income comes from Mineral Ores, Mineral Fuels and Oils, Oil Seeds, and from the Meat and Sugars industries.

Below I have found an illustrative image on Wikipedia that represents brazil main income from it’s export

As you can see Brazil still concentrates the majority of its export in commodities. Of course, there is no space for excuses. A competent government and an educated people makes all the difference.I guess Brazil is on the right track, but there is still a long road to follow.

I’m not so sure what would have happened if the Vikings had colonized Brazil. The Danish Kingdom colonized Greenland. Apparently Greenland has a lot of money, and now there are rumors that they sit well on a huge oil basin, however I cannot tell for sure what would’ve been better. What is your opinon?

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Carlos Monteiro is the founder ofDenmark In less than a year, the blog has become an important tool for Danish Decision Makers looking for Brazil as potential Market.

Denmark Brazil. Because Free Information Unites

Image from Wikipedia

History plays an important role in what we are today. What happened yesterday will surely have a huge impact on our life today. A society´s mindset is shaped by years and years of history, and that is no different for Brazilian people and how they think and act.

Brazil, was an exploitation colony of Portugal for a good part of our history. Since the Portuguese colonizers were more “soft” than the Spaniards, who colonized the rest of South America and because the Portuguese adopted a different strategy to colonize the Indians, Brazilians developed very different traits when compared to our fellow South American neighbors.

The Arrival of the Portuguese settlers and it’s consequences…

When the first Portuguese settlers arrived in Brazil, they discovered that Brazil was occupied by thousands of different native tribes. The Portuguese observed that almost all the Indian tribes were fascinated by trinkets as combs, mirrors and other things which they had never seen the likes of before. Using the Indians´ fascination with these objects to their advantage, the Portuguese were able peacefully to exploit Indian labor. Consequently, this tactic also allowed the Portuguese to exploit resources such as the “Pau Brasil” (Brazilian Wood) as we mentioned in the last post. However, the Portuguese knew that this approach would be short-lived and that they would need to find other methods of keeping the Indians´ attention. Recognizing this fact, they started to integrate themselves into the Indian´s marriage system (which the “whites” did not recognize as marriage).The Portuguese were eager to take advantage of this fact and since they rarely brought women to Brazil it didn´t take long for a new generation of mixed bloods to appear, this became known as a phenomenon called “Cunhadismo.” The Indian woman became “the breeding matrix of Brazilian People” marking a cornerstone in Brazilian history.

The phenomenon “Cunhadismo” started to spread throughout the colony. “Cunhadismo” translated from Portuguese means brother in law. ‘Cunhadismo” was well received by Indian tribes throughout Brazil and these foreign strangers became part of the tribal family. The Indians would offer an Indian woman to a Portuguese man as a wife. Once they accepted they were part of the community and had a strong bond with all other Indians of the tribe. Their mixed blood children started to generate a new breed of Brazilians.

How the mindset of Brazilians began to be shaped ?

This new breed often considered bastards by Portuguese men had to learn how to deal with cultural conflicts from both sides. This generation of “bastards” had a huge responsibility because they were the mediators of any cultural differences. In fact, some historians argue that this is probably the pivoting point for why Brazilian´s are internationally known for their cordiality and hospitality. These colonization tactics were different from the Spanish, so unlike our South American neighbors ( in general), Brazilians are famous for being easy going, informal, in favor of conciliation, tolerant and cordial. People in general will avoid conflicts and confrontations.

Why this historical background is important?

If your coming to do business in Brazil, you will probably notice in your business meetings that business will be one of the last topics Brazilians will talk about. They will ask something related to your trip, to your staying, or a football match that happened in the previous evening, and you should know beforehand that this is used as a warm up.

Differently than Scandinavians, Brazilians are less straight to the point. It doesn’t mean that Brazilian businessmen are not serious or, even worse, that they don’t take you or your topic seriously.

In fact, Brazilian businessmen will be quite serious about the business topics, however if the environment surrounding the conversation can be “lighter” before engaging in a business conversation, Brazilians will appreciate a lot more the meeting, and your chances of success from a cultural perspective, can surely be higher.

Carlos Monteiro is the founder of Denmark In less than a year, the blog has become an important tool for Danish Decision Makers looking to Brazil as potential Market.

Denmark Brazil. Because Free Information Unites

“Through my network and knowledge I will connect, develop & drive high impact companies to contribute to and enable economic development in Brazil.” 


Finding Meaning

Recently, during a dinner with my wife,we were talking about the process of finding our true purpose in our work life.

When talking to people, and digging a little deeper than the usual small talk, I have noticed that many have no idea about their purpose in life.


The upside of investing time in finding purpose in your life is having clarity about your goals and values. The actions you take on a daily basis start making a lot more sense.

I believe that people with a strong sense of purpose, will thrive, simply because they have a north that won’t easily change due to external factors, i.e: Contrary opinion of friends, family pressure, etc.

Know yourself

Asking myself (and friends) where they’d notice me making a difference and finding out what my real talents are, have been crucial to define my work and life purpose.

Actions to take you even further

Tony Robbins says that whenever you take an action you create an emotion. In this sense, when you don’t take actions, you will lack progress and lack of progress diminish your emotions and ultimately you will end up having a dull and meaningless life.

Finding answers

Finding your mission, purpose and values isn’t an easy task and nobody, except yourself, can help you in doing so. The best way to get started is by giving yourself a small goal, i.e: asking yourself what are your core values and listing them. That is an action.

So, what kind of action are you taking today, that will enable you to build a better tomorrow for yourself and the society you live in?