Six Tips to be Successful in Canada

Everything you do before you leave home will determine your success

“It has always been my dream”, is not enough to be successful.

By Peter Hawkins | March 2021

Hope for a better future for your kids, dissatisfaction at home, the Covid-19 pandemic, and fear are some of the many reasons why people want to leave their country and come to Canada. Desire is a powerful motivator, but the phrase “it has always been my dream”, is not enough to be successful.

Canada does have its own issues and problems, and for newcomers to achieve success, there may be many obstacles to overcome. When making the business case to immigrate to Canada, you cannot ignore the impact of research and planning, financing, family, and weather on your decisions. Everything you do BEFORE you leave home will determine your success.

Newcomers, whether they are investors, businessperson, or entrepreneurs, need to prepare for life in Canada by doing their homework.

Here are six key tips to help ensure your personal responsibilities are not an obstacle to your business success.


Research – Online and Offline Support

While you are doing your research on your product lines and potential new business, do other research on what your personal life will look like. No newcomer does enough research.

Look at the official Canadian government sites, along with blogs and networking groups for Portuguese-speaking newcomers. There are many online support groups, BUT you must start to locate them early. Review marketplace research for housing (compare culture opportunities, commuting distance, schools and geography). If the only place you can afford to live means you are commuting two hours to work each way, and your family is isolated with no local connections, then you will not succeed.

Talk to people who have succeeded and to people who have failed. Speak to professional consultants (like Ingwe) who do more than just immigration application processing. Professionals know that the resources overlap and are confusing. You must get help.

Networking – Learn to Love LinkedIn

Start Networking before you leave Brazil, and before you make one cold call or a request to connect, you must “professionalize” your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the Canadian business platform and if you haven’t completed your profile properly, you won’t be taken seriously as a businessperson or an employment candidate. At the very least add a background image that reflects your goals, a professional portrait of you, clear contact information, a tagline of searchable terms, and an essay that describes what you want.

You will then need to get advice on how to cyber network. Presenting yourself professionally, AND networking in the Canadian way is so important. Brazilians are famous for collecting names, but not actually connecting. You MUST understand the difference. Learn to love LinkedIn.

Plan Your Finances – Doing the Math

Canada is expensive. Is your financing in place and is it viable? Housing, food, insurance, health care, prescriptions, and transportation are all expensive. Calculate your budget and take into consideration that south western Ontario and Vancouver are the most expensive places in the country. Once you have determined the amount of money you will need… Double It. Everything in your plan will take twice as long, and you will need twice as much money.

Learn English Now – Going Beyond the Verb “To Be”

Make sure everyone in your household starts taking English lessons. Can your spouse speak English? Can your children?  When you arrive don’t force one person to do all the communicating because only one of you speaks English. Furthermore, make sure everyone is onside with the move. We have all heard “happy wife, happy life”. Well, I think the key to success could also be “Happy Teenage Princess”! It is important to check in on your kids.

Business Advice – Limitless Potential for Best Planning

Clearly, this would not be business advice if I did not point out all of the resources and tools that are available to you. Canada has a remarkable business climate for newcomers, and it is imperative to ascertain pertinent information early. Talk to Chambers of Commerce, Trade Commissioners, incubators, and funding agencies. It is vital to keep track of all documents and electronic copies, while retaining thorough records. Pay attention to timelines and conversations. Whether you are a job seeker, entrepreneur, or an independent business; the potential for the newcomer who has done the best planning is limitless.  Also, along the lines of climate, I should mention the bonus tip!

The Weather – Don’t Be Cold, Embrace the Cold

You cannot underestimate the cold of the Canadian winter; the key to the cold is – don’t be cold! Buy the appropriate clothing and embrace the outside. Learn to ski, learn to skate, and enjoy the wonderful country we live in.  In Canada, with cold weather comes darkness and indoor living. By embracing both the outside and inside – you will be fine!



We invite you to read the latest edition of Discover magazine

March 2021 :

Peter Hawkins

Peter is Co-Chair of the Brazil Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) and co-owner of MELLOHAWK Logistics. He was named Mississauga Businessperson of the Year (MBOT) 2018, CGLCC Exporter of the Year 2019, and is a 2020 Winner for ACCES Employment’s Walk of Fame award. He often speaks often about Trade Accelerator Programs, International Trade, Doing Business in Brazil, Diversity & Inclusion and Workplace Professionalism.

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