I’ve never been a great natural networker, maybe it was due to me being a bit of a homeschooled goober growing up or possibly due to the fact that I didn’t see the importance of it…
Whatever the reason, I did the ol’ proverbial face-plant after arriving in Brazil!
Because being self-reliant is something that only functions in “cold” countries, whereas being inter-reliant is vital to success in Brazil. You see, at the core of the Brazilian society lays a strong social inter-dependance that makes relying on each other necessary. Some say that this inter-dependance has come about due to unreliable social services and governmental bureaucracy, others say that it is just the way Brazilian people are.
Either way, this is something that hit me like a ton of bricks about it’s importance lickity-split after arriving in Brazil. It’s the catalyst to your job opportunities, getting things done and having a happy, fulfilled life in Brazil.
So without further ado, here’s 3 tips to get you up and building a successful network – or as Brazilians refer to it “amizades” (friendships).
1. Learn Portuguese ASAP
Only 5% of Brazilians speak English at a fluent or close to fluent level – that’s not a lot.
Wether you’re a business person or not, the numbers speak for themselves: if you speak Portuguese, you’ll have around a 95% better chance at open doors and networking possibilities than if you don’t.
My qualified Portuguese speaking friends have no issue getting a job as the economy is booming and unemployment very low.
This is the reality at this current moment as Brazilian companies have yet to internationalize and early adopters of Portuguese fluency will be at the spearhead of a plentitude of great jobs and opportunities.
If you would like to find out where to start in learning Portuguese fluently, then check out the Portuguese 101 Guide I made for you (and will be constantly updating).
2. Show Up at Events Within Your Interest Area
About 4 months ago, I decided to participate in an internet marketing event in São Paulo…
This would be the first of it’s kind in Brazil (an otherwise saturated area in the USA) and it sparked my interest.
I showed up at the event only knowing one person, of which I had never met in person – none other than the power-napping couch-surfer himself, Josh Plotkin over at
After just a few days of throwing business cards around and talking with different people, I made connections and friendships that will last me a lifetime.
Whats even more, is that these people have openned doors for me and welcomed me into closed groups that otherwise would have been impossible for a non-Portuguese speaker. Brazilians are hospitable and warm at all levels of society!
Here’s a video that Josh and I recorded at the event about networking and its importance:
Note: I need to correct what was said in the video, you can come speaking English and be able to converse with some people (not all) though learning Portuguese is still vital.
(Watch on YouTube)
3. Make Friends Within Your Industry
The 3rd and best tip I can give you, is to make friends with key door-openners within your industry or interest area.
I’m not talking about just exchanging business cards and calling it good, go and visit their home or have them visit yours!
Brazilians will open doors for people who they can call “amigo” and they are always willing to make new friends. This is a no-brainer as you not only make new and important friendship, you also are able to share in important passions to help each other forward in your personal journeys.
Some of my best friends in Brazil are also people who are business partners. You see, in Brazil business and personal life are very much intertwined as the focus isn’t so much on tasks as it is on community.
Sure this has challenges and goes against a lot of “productivity principles” from the USA or Europe, though it makes life a lot more enjoyable and worth living…
What if your job wasn’t just a task, rather a daily experience of hanging out with people you admire and like, with your friends? This is the general mindset and vibe behind life in Brazil and a reluctant must for foreigners wanting to adapt to life in paradise.
Here’s the bottom line and a quick summary of everything I wrote above: learn Portuguese, make Brazilian friends that share your passion and enjoy open doors in life!
Any questions or are you ready to enjoy life to its fullest?
To your sucess in Brazil and thanks for your time.