“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 June of 2013 Carlos Monteiro interviewed Matheus Viana, a highly experienced Brazilian tax lawyer focused on helping international companies to navigate through the challenging Brazilian tax system.

In addition to giving a general picture of the Brazilian tax system, Matheus also points out some of the common mistake foreign professionals make when doing business in Brazil.

In this video, Carlos Monteiro, interviews Mr. Jorge, CEO of CASA SANTA LUZIA in São Paulo. A High end and well-known supermarket acclaimed for the high quality and differentiated products available.
Mr. Jorge talks about his origins, opportunities, and challenges, and why Brazil in his opinion has a bright future and it is the best place to be!

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?

Hope you enjoyed this article, to read more please visit

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

“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?

I have

just finished watching a documentary about a Danish chef who is acclaimed in the title to be the world’s best.

‘Verdens Bedste Chef’ tells the story of Rasmus Kofoed (and his assistant) aspiring to win the biennial Bocuse d’Or – the culinary equivalent of the Olympics, the world championship in cooking.

From a motivational perspective, watching Kofoed’s bid to eventually triumph in 2011 (after finishing runner-up in 2007) was both absorbing and interesting.
His approach lends itself very well to modern business thinking.

Preparation is key
Rafael Berti (my business partner) and I put a lot of effort, into our business presentations. One of the things we have discovered is that if we don’t surprise our clients or show them more than they are expecting to know, we most likely won’t get the job.

Our competition is fierce, so we literally try to give away as much knowledge as we possibly can because if that potential client likes what /he heard, they will be interested in talking again, and we want to keep that conversation going.

As is focus
Kofoed showed an impressive focus – both when he had to lead his team and when he was just working with his assistant. Rasmus is highly skilled, no doubt about it, but whenever he is cooking one dish, he is completely focused on that dish. Once he finishes that one dish, he then moves on to a new one.

When I started Biassa here in Denmark, I initiated my activities as a freelance business consultant. I had no clue whatsoever which sector or key activities I was going to be focusing on. As the company grew over time, I have been obliged to focus my attention on the key activities I believe I’m really good at.

It will pay off
Invest in preparation. Yes, it is worth your while and Focus on what you are very good at.


My name is Carlos Monteiro and I’m the CEO and founder of Biassa.

Biassa connects, develops and help groundbreaking companies to grow and to enable economic development in Brazil

I also write a business column on the Copenhagen Post every 6th week. You can find out more texts like this here ” Give yourself a chance “

I’ve heard so many times people claiming they want to be entrepreneurs. They want to have the ‘car of the year’ and have the freedom to choose where and with whom they spend their time. They want to live life as if it was a constant party every day.

Carlos Monteiro

Comes at a cost
Desiring things can actually be a healthy sign. But these things, however, won’t simply happen because we desire them. No, first it’s necessary to take action, and to be aware that the results of our actions won’t be obvious overnight. They will take quite some time to appear.

And the freedom we aim for, it will cost energy, time, and sometimes even relationships.

Tough decisions
I would like us to consider the choices we make and the consequences one faces when choosing one thing over another.

Whenever I travel to Brazil, I do so on business as an entrepreneur, and that means I’m never off. Rough as it sounds, I have to be very selective with regards to the friends (and even family) I see while I’m there.

As I don’t have much time available, I’m faced with the choice of picking and choosing who I’d like to see. This scarcity of time has forced me to make tough cuts.

Are you ready?
Every choice comes with a price. We need to know if our values and personal goals can synergise, or if they will collide at some point. The art is to find an even balance. With that said, are you ready to let go?

In summary: make a decision and start acting today. Yes, dream big, but remember the consequences and responsibility that comes with it.





My name is Carlos Monteiro. I’m a Brazilian entrepreneur living in Denmark. Every 6th week I write for the Copenhagen post. You can find some of my articles here.

I’m the founder of Biassa. We specialize in developing high-performing tech companies in Brazil. You are most welcome to visit or drop me a line at

Recently I was invited to share my experiences as an entrepreneur with recent grads in Odense, Denmark. I thought it was fair to re-write this story so those who watched my presentation, but couldn’t really interact with me afterward, could have a better grasp on some the things I’ve come across so far on my journey. Please feel free to communicate through this channel. I would love to, somehow, help you on your journey as well, regardless what path you choose to follow.

Some people may already know this story, as last year I shared a post talking about all my frustrated attempts in getting a job in Denmark, and how everything began. If you already know it, perhaps you may want to skip it. In this story, however, I’m being a lot more tactical and trying to share some practical actions you can take TODAY to help you move forward with your career.

Hope you enjoy it!

It all started when I got to Denmark in June 2013.

Before moving to Odense, I was the kind of person who used to receive promotional e-mails and only this kind of e-mails. I had the belief that social media did not work and Ι felt myself like an “alien” when someone would say he was recruited by a headhunter, or when someone told me that he got his position in the market through LinkedIn. This is a time not so far away, but because of all the personal changes that happened to me in the last three years, it feels way longer.

I kept these beliefs for a long time, even when I had to move from my country and started to face challenges.


The first step to the world


During 2009-2010, I worked as an intern for the Danish Consulate in Sao Paulo. Apart from washing a lot of fruits, making coffee, and becoming an expert on Excel, I gained valuable experience and I learned how to work with Danish companies seeking internationalization and expansion into the Brazilian market.

After finishing my course of  Business Administration at PUC-SP  my wife and I decided it was time to begin a new stage in our lives. She, after having lived 4.5 years in Brazil, and having a daughter (Ines) felt it was a good time to go back to Denmark to play some personal projects that were paused for a while and to be closer to her family. I gladly embraced the challenge.  After all, I had never lived outside of Brazil.

 Work on your blog? You must be crazy …

The above statement was probably the most common one among my Brazilian friends every time I told them I had plans to move to Denmark.

Let me explain things a little bit better.

During the time I worked at the Danish Consulate, I had noticed that many Brazilians who came to us came to complain about the difficulty of finding work in Denmark. Having realized that, the idea of creating a platform that could help connect these worlds so different came up to my mind.

Using my network creatively

The first thing I did to get my idea of the paper where videos/interviews with professionals at “C LEVEL” in my personal network. At first I did not have an exclusive focus in a specific sector. I had the help and the patience of many people who put up with me and gave me support – and a lot of luck too!

For a period of about 3 months I had to wait all the paperwork related to my process of legalization and integration in Denmark. That also meant that I could not work in the meantime. It was during this period that I worked full time on my blog.

While writing new articles for the blog and launched new interviews every 15 days or so, I kept asking myself: how could I be effective with my marketing content? This was a really frustrating issue for me. I did not have any capital to invest in paid campaigns – actually, I had no capital for anything.

After studying about digital marketing on the Internet, I started to realize that LinkedIn was “The tool” and that it would help me to do what I was seeing, and to have a voice in the crowd.

I started to understand how LinkedIn works and to realize that through it, I could participate in specific niche groups within LinkedIn.

I also figured out how to link my LinkedIn account to my blogging platform and I quickly realized how important it is to use this tool frequently.

I also saw how important it is to customize a message and to explain why we want to connect with a potential contact. Here in Northern Europe, people are generally open to connect, but the tool is used in a very professional manner.

After all these insights and learnings (which were happening in practice, believe me), I gradually got out of the dark. My articles were read, the blog had more hits, and the interviews had more engagement. I also started to receive emails from complete “strangers” who were praising the work I was doing.

From blog to startup

The day I discovered that the Danish government had released my paperwork and that I could live legally here, I immediately started looking for work.

I sent over three hundred applications for various companies in different sectors and sizes. I was never called in for an interview… At the same time, I continued to work with the Blog, posting continuously interviews and articles.

One thing I noticed was that whenever I would look for some job positions, I ended up using LinkedIn, and, after reading an article by Neil Patel, An Expert in Digital MKT(strongly recommended to all) I changed my tactic. I began to introduce myself as Carlos, founder of a blog that dealt with business matters in Brazil, which is interested in connecting companies and creating future opportunities.

This tactic changed my connections and leveraged decision makers here in Denmark…

Later in November 2013, I received a message from a manager responsible for the expansion of a Danish company in Latin America. He gathered the articles and interviews that I had published and called me in for an interview. After two interviews, in one of which the CEO of the company in question was present, I was hired to help them in their entry and expansion in the Brazilian market. This was probably when I had my first “A-HA” moment.

Quality content generated often could establish my position in Denmark as the “knowledgeable Brazilian guy” and could bring me more customers. From there on I did not look for more jobs, and focused on expanding my network and generating content.


With time, more customers were showing up, and along with these customers the same question kept on coming up:

“What is it exactly that you do Carlos? You have this blog, you are generating interesting content, but what’s your focus?”

I really had no answer to this question. In fact, my only goal was to get a job by using the blog, but all of a sudden I had the chance to open up my own company.

I essentially helped companies in the decorative lighting industry, transport, breweries, e-Commerce, education and maritime.

It was only in Nov 2014 and after many lessons that I had the opportunity to join another Brazilian who is already out of Brazil for at least 10 years. Together, we gave a new face to Biassa which has now become a business development company focused on connecting, developing and helping high-performance technology companies (SAAS, eCommerce, Educacão, Fintechs) to expand and grow their businesses in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

This is a briefing of what has happened to me the past three years. For me, the most important lesson of this whole story is one. Attitude. At no point in life can you have all the tools and knowledge to your disposal, and not without testing anything to practice.

A mistake I did here on LinkedIn: I tried to connect with people without customizing messages; I tried to sell without creating any kind of prior relationship, but I learned my lesson, and I am still learning and evolving. I did not stop halfway.

Today, Biassa is expanding. We have five people working in the company. LinkedIn is our main tool to warm up and build relationships that may eventually become a business. We have created a solution called Get Introduced, fully focused on the concept of Social Selling.

To sum up:

Have attitude. No one is gonna come to you if you don’t show why you deserve it.

Be bold: Try different things. Videos worked great for me, and helped me to stand out of the crowd

Ask for help, be polite and be grateful: Other people will help you, I have no doubts about it. Be humble, ask for help, and help without asking. Contribute, generate content without having to be asked for, and be grateful. The reward always comes back.

My name is Carlos. A Brazilian happily living in Odense, Denmark.

I have a degree in Business Administration from PUC, in Sao Paulo. I have also studied economics for three years, until deciding that the marginal cost of pursuing economics was higher than the marginal happiness derived from it.

(That was a bad economics joke.)

Why Denmark?

In my past life, I worked for the Danish Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My job was to grow international links by encouraging Danish businesses to tap into the Brazilian market.

Every six months, the Consulate would take on Danish interns to t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶r̶m̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶o̶b̶e̶d̶i̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶f̶f̶e̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶r̶s̶ complement their studies with real-world experience. Among one of the groups was Cathrine – my wife. I’m sure you’ve read your share of love stories, so I will spare you mine. Cathrine and I have been together for 4.5 years now. With her around, I eventually decided to give Denmark a shot.

Footballs, Wrists and Tennis Rackets.

I lucked out in the gene lottery and was born into a loving family, who have always given me the best opportunities in life.

I’ve had the privilege of studying in private schools. I’ve had the chance to travel and absorb the world from a very early stage in my life. I am very grateful for all the blessings I’ve enjoyed in my past – most Brazilian youth doesn’t have the chances I had in my childhood.

As a kid, I have always been pretty sporty and active. At 11 years old, my life-goal was a professional career in football, like most kids in Brazil. I actually managed to get pretty good, and got recruited for Brazil’s ‘National Youth Team.’ We played in Chile, the US, Sweden and, as fate would have it, Denmark.

When I hit the age of 14, I shifted my focus to Tennis.


As the management mantra goes:

“There is no ‘I’ in ‘team.”

But there is an ‘I’ in ‘Tennis.’

Tennis is a solo sport. Which meant that if I do the work, I get the glory. That idea appealed to me. I wanted to be in full control of my successes and failures.

Eventually, I got pretty good at Tennis and was determined to pursue it professionally. All the details were worked out. I knew exactly where my life was going. Total clarity. Total certainty.

Or so it seemed.

Not long before hitting the age of 18, I suffered a wrist injury and had to rehabilitate for a long and arduous 18 months. A wrist is to a tennis player what an ear is to a musician.

So no more tennis for me.

It was devastating at the time. When you lose everything you have spent the past 4 years working on tirelessly, it doesn’t feel too good. Truth be told, it was probably the most painful time in my life.

“What am I supposed to do now?” I thought to myself. I had to find something new.

As painful as that ordeal was, it also taught me life’s most valuable lesson. The lesson that took me from uncertainty and unemployment to running my own business in a foreign country.

Keep reading and I might even share it with you.

In January 2012, my wife and I decided to flip life upside-down.

“We will move to Denmark and start a new life.”

Sounds very certain and bold when I put it like that. But in truth, I had absolutely no idea how exactly we would pull this off. All I knew is that the decision was made, and now we had to do it.

So I got the idea to build This is a site where I gathered and collated information about Brazil as a market for potential employers in Denmark. I also did several video interviews with people in my network who had valuable information about the Brazil market.

I had no idea how it was going to work. I was not even aware of what content marketing was. I didn’t think about building email lists or using free information to upsell people to my consulting services.

All I knew was that if I can provide extra value to employers, maybe I can stand out. That was the only purpose of the website at the time.

Below, my first interview on


So with a large suitcase of clothes, and a larger suitcase of uncertainty, we landed in Denmark on the 11th of June 2013. If you haven’t moved to another country before, it is an experience like no other. If you ever want to feel the true extent of what it means to be ‘out of your comfort zone’ – give it a shot.

It’s very exciting to look back at in retrospect, but it was scary and somewhat isolating at the time.

We stayed with my wife’s family for 8 months, while waiting for me to receive my work permit from the Danish government. In that time, I gathered all the content I created and launched the Denmark-Brazil website in August.

It was a strange time, living in what’s essentially a buffer-zone. I could not legally look for a job until I got my work permit. So while I was very grateful to stay with my In-Laws, (who are great people I might add) the urge to build something of my own was getting difficult to suppress.

Finally, sweet September came, and with it – my work permit. I immediately enrolled in Laerdansk to learn Danish.  I was determined to find a job fast. With three months’ worth of bottled enthusiasm and website content, I put together a simple system for finding a job.

“I will send out 4-7 applications per day, every day, until I have a job.”

Here is the email I would send to potential employers:

COMPANY NAME on Carlos Monteiro i Brasilien”

Kære Mr/Ms.Ice T

My name is Carlos Monteiro; I’m a Brazilian citizen, married to a Danish girl. Recently I had my case approved by the Danish government, and now I’m allowed to work in DK.

I have worked for the Danish Consulate in Brazil supporting Danish SME’s in tapping into the Brazilian Market.

I came across your contact through a good friend who was working as a recruiter for a Human Resources Company X until a few months ago.

The reason of my contact is to express my willingness in supporting your organization in case you are looking at Brazil as a potential market. I’m certain that there are great opportunities for your company in Brazil

If you are interested, I’d like arrange a meeting at your office to discuss it further.

Enclosed follows my CV

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


Please, Feel Free to visit my website: WWW.DENMARKBRAZIL.COM also check this article about your industry:

Carlos Monteiro

Tel: (45 )60 22 40 18

Wishing you all the best

With such a stellar portfolio, relentless routine and enticing email, there was no way that I wouldn’t find a job. This was going to be a piece of cake, right?

Well, three months, 300+ companies and 300+ applications later – not a single concrete offer.


Most applications were ignored, but I did notice a common trend with the responses I was getting. The replies were always along the lines of:

“We are not currently looking to expand into Brazil, but we like your profile and will keep you in mind if we choose to go into that market.”

So now I had two choices:

  1. Give up. Go back to Brazil and settle for less. Blame it on racism and discrimination. Blame it on my lack of Proficiency in the Danish Language.
  1. Listen to my market and adjust. They were not looking for EMPLOYEES to help them with moving to Brazil. But they DID like who I was, and what I offered.

This is where I’m supposed to say something heroic like ‘giving up wasn’t an option.’

But when you spend three months not getting anywhere despite giving it your best, giving up is the most readily available option on the table.

And it took a lot of guts and support from people around me not to take this option, but to keep pushing in the direction of my dreams.


When we started talking, the company of the photo was still called Remove The Background. Today, WE are known as Pixelz

As I spent days and nights thinking about how I can adapt to this situation to finally start moving forward, I realized something. This feeling of uncertainty. Of losing purpose and faith. It wasn’t new. It was familiar.

Remember that juicy life lesson I promised to share with you earlier? The one learned from the wrist injury that led to the end of my Tennis dreams? Well, just as I had to find a new way to do things after I couldn’t play tennis. I had to find a new way to do things after my job hunt failed.

We cannot control the circumstances life gives us, but we CAN control how we respond to them.

We can adjust. We can adapt. We can reinvent ourselves.

Life goes on.

So I gained some clarity and my ‘eureka moment’ came.

“If people are interested in me, and the service I provide – but not interested in hiring me as an employee, in what other way can I provide value?”


In November 2013, I traveled back to Brazil to see my family and recharge my batteries. My determination and clarity returned. Once I came back to Denmark, I would start my business supporting Danish SMEs in going to the Brazil market. The plan was put into motion, and thus began the creation of

One day that winter, I was pecking away at the keyboard, working on a new article when I received a message on LinkedIn.

“We are interested in your offer and we would like to meet with you.”

Boom! Or maybe ‘phew.’

Probably both.

Nevertheless, my efforts finally started to pay off.

One kind soul (who I later found out was a famous Danish business figure) had been following my posts on LinkedIn. He told a certain Danish company about me, and from his recommendation – they became my first client! No rush in this world compares to the rush of getting your first client.

And as they say, ‘the rest is history.’

Interview with the CEO for the Logistics Danish Gigant in Brazil, Mikael Thomsen.

Lessons Learned

Through this journey, I have learned several things that may help those on a path similar to mine.

To Get Value, First Give Value 

Denmark has a strong volunteering culture. Danes will always look for your experiences and ability to provide value first. Help out wherever you can. Gain a reputation for solving problems wherever you go. Danes are collectivist people – therefore contribution is both valued, and rewarded.

How do you benefit from doing this? Referrals from happy clients. Contacts and networks of equally helpful people, as well as the chance to pick up new, and marketable skills.

Be Consistent 

Whether you are running a blog, posting job applications, or working on your business. Be consistent. Success is a process. Everybody and their mother will tell you to be consistent, it’s not an exciting life-hack or shortcut. But the reason everyone repeats it, is because it works.

Start Before You Are Ready

It is common to be held back by limiting beliefs. ‘I don’t speak Danish.’ ‘I’m not a specialist.’ ‘I don’t have experience.’ ‘First I will become an expert – then I will offer my service.’

These beliefs will tempt you. Giving up is easy. Giving up is comforting. Don’t do it. Keep taking action.

Action precedes clarity. Action precedes expertise. The only way you will get good at what you want to do – is by doing it.

Titles Mean Nothing if You Can’t Provide Value

Neither me, nor many of my clients care much about how many letters someone has at the end of their name.

If we liken the human brain to a radio, then there is only one frequency it’s tuned into:

“WII-FM” – Or “What’s In It for Me?”

This is the first question all potential employers, clients, and partners ask in their head. And the difference between succeeding and failing is simply having a good answer to that question.

Now that we’ve addressed some lessons learned, let’s talk about some of the challenges you are likely to meet if you want to move to Denmark, so that you can be more prepared than I was when I got here.

Obstacles to Getting Hired in Denmark

Your Language & Cultural Knowledge is becoming a Commodity

You would not believe how many Danes I met who can actually speak decent Portuguese. Sure, this number is not as high as English speakers, but it is higher than one would think – and growing.

Furthermore, Danes are a very well educated and travelled people. They have a broad horizon of cultural understanding. Therefore the value you bring just by being a foreigner is not that high anymore – and falling.

The Aftershock of the Economic Crisis

Even though it didn’t affect the Nordic states as much as the rest of Europe, employers have tightened their purse-strings.

Domestic Candidates Take Precedence over Foreign Candidates

All things being equal, Danish Employers prefer to hire Danish Candidates over Foreign Candidates. Danes have the advantage of being fluent in their language. So you have to ask yourself ‘what skills can I build to give me an extra edge?’

In Denmark, An Employee is Expensive to Keep. 

Companies in Denmark look after their staff. Both in terms of their salary and fringe benefits.

Here’s a small, non-exclusive list of said benefits: paid holidays, private insurance, free vacation, extra pay for those suffering from illness and 32 weeks of parental leave immediately after birth.

This list is far from exhaustive, there are far too many benefits to name.

So naturally, employers must be careful with whom they choose. They cannot afford to employ a liability. Are you an asset? Or a liability?

To Conclude

So now you know the barriers, and you know the lessons. You have some extra tools and extra knowledge to help you settle in Denmark.

And you certainly don’t have to copy the exact same thing I did.

I am an entrepreneur. I chose entrepreneurship because I believe I can make a difference. I enjoy the thrill of being able to create something out of nothing.

Entrepreneurship is a roller-coaster and I am loving the ride.

But not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur – and that is okay. Several people want to work in a corporate environment and build a career. If that is you – pursue it. There is a multitude of jobs with very diverse roles – if you are willing to look hard enough, you will eventually find what you are looking for.

Regardless of where you are on your journey. Regardless of if you want to pursue a path similar to mine. I hope my story serves as a signpost on your own road.

If there is only one thing I had to leave you with, it would be this:

The only way to get to where you want to be, is to keep on walking.

 Keep on walking.

The Brazilian architecture and design market surely represent a huge potential for Danish architecture offices. But what are the restrictions when Danish companies come to Brazil? Can they use all the creative potential they want in a project?

Are there many barriers and restrictions? How about the opportunities and the future of cities in Brazil? These and other questions will be answered today by Marcelo Maia Rosa, partner of Andrade Moretin, a major architecture and design office in São Paulo, Brazil.