Successful entrepreneurs. What does it take to be one?

Click on the link below to listen to the dialogue and then answer the questions.


Dialogue comprehension
1. What are the main qualities of an entrepreneur in Don´s opinion?
2. Does luck play any role at all in turning a company into a successful business according to Don?
3. Does Alan plan to start his own company some day? How does he feel about it?
4. What advice does Don give Alan about starting his own business?

Now find words or expressions in the dialogue with the following similar meanings:
a- a small business that has just been started: _________________
b- try hard; make a lot of effort: _____________________
c – become weaker or less important:_________________
d- make neither profit nor loss: _______________________
e- manage a company; control a company: ________________
f- have a big influence on; be very important: ____________________
g- determined; hardworking and ambitious: _____________________
h- talent; natural ability to do something: ________________________
i- become frightened to do something you had planned to do: ________________
j- an attempt to do something: ________­­­___________
k- influential person or organization, esp. in business or politics: ______________
l- the point where a company neither makes a profit nor a loss: ______________
m- become successful: __________________________
n- lucrative: ______________________

Referência: “Fluent Business English” – José Roberto A. Igreja e Robert C. Young Disal Editora

Give someone a heads-up

Give someone a heads-up: warn someone of something (avisar alguém de algo; alertar alguém a respeito de algo)

“I just wanted to give you a heads-up that Mike might show up later today,” said Jill.
“Eu só queria te avisar que o Mike talvez apareça por aqui mais tarde”, disse Jill.

They gave us a heads-up that Mr. Hampton might give up signing the contract.
Eles nos alertaram de que o sr. Hampton poderia desistir de assinar o contrato.

Referência: Inglês de Rua – American Slang – José Roberto A. Igreja e Robert C. Young, Disal Editora.  

A new supplier – I googled them and guess what I found out?

Howard: Hi Damon, how´s it going? I haven´t seen you around much lately.
Damon: I´ve been pretty busy with the new project. That´s why! By the way, do you think you could e-mail me the last version of the financial spreadsheet?
Howard: Sure, I´ll do that first thing when I get back to the office.
Damon: Thanks!
Howard: Remember that company we talked about the other day?
Damon: You mean the office equipment company?
Howard: Yeah, I googled them and guess what I found out?
Damon: I don´t have a clue. What did you find out?
Howard: They supply office equipment to many companies in this region, including some of our competitors.
Damon: Really? It might be a good idea to find out more about their services and prices.
Howard: Sure, I was thinking, maybe we should set up a meeting with one of their sales reps, what do you think?
Damon: Definitely. Let´s do that. Sorry, I gotta run now. The head honcho wants the sales report on his desk ASAP.  I´ve been working on it for two days now and I gotta wrap it up.
Howard: Sure Damon, I was going to invite you out for lunch today. Do you think you can make it?
Damon: Not today, I´m swamped with work so I´ll probably just grab a bite at the company cafeteria. I´ll take a rain check though.
Howard: Sure Damon, maybe some other time.
Damon: Thanks anyway. I´ll see you around. Bye.
Howard: Bye.

Dialogue comprehension – True, False or I don´t know?
1. Damon can´t go out for lunch with Howard today.
2. Howard doesn´t like eating at the company cafeteria.
3. Damon has been working on the sales report for about a week now.
4. Both Howard and Damon think they should find out more about the office equipment supplier.

Focus on words & expressions – Find words or expressions in the dialogue that mean the same as:
1. The top boss; the most important person in an organization: _______________
2. Schedule a meeting: ______________________________________________
3. I have no idea: ___________________________________________________
4. Send an e-mail or e-mails to someone: ________________________________
5. Finish it: ________________________________________________________
6. A company that sells the same products or services as another company: ____
7. Sales representatives: _____________________________________________
8. A computer program for financial calculations: __________________________
9. Eat something: ___________________________________________________
10. As soon as possible: ______________________________________________
11. Search for information on the Web, normally using the Google search engine: _
12. A self-service restaurant, often in a factory or an office building where people select their food and drink at a counter and take it to a table to eat: __________________
13. Postpone until a later time: _________________________________________
14. Overburdened with work: __________________________________________

Referência: Talking Business – José Roberto A. Igreja / DISAL EDITORA

What a cultural shock!

Click on the link below to listen to the dialogue “What a cultural schock!” and then do the activity Language Check.!.mp3


Language Check
Find words in the dialogue that mean the same as:
a- Angry: _____________
b- Force someone to leave; expel someone: _______________
c- Surprised: ______________
d- Foolish or embarrassing mistake; blunder: _____________
e- Tear into pieces: __________________
f- Something that serves as a protection; a defense: _______
g- Bend your body as a greeting: _____________________
h- Get used to: _______________________
i- Eat or drink with a loud sucking sound: __________________
j- Bottoms of a shoe: ______________________
k- Disgusting; rude; offensive; unpleasant: __________________
l- Social blunder; mistake: ________________________
m- Smell badly: ______________________

Referência: “Fale Inglês como um Americano” – José Roberto A. Igreja e Robert C. Young  –  Disal Editora.

What´s the weather forecast for the weekend?

Click on the link below to listen to the dialogue and then check out the vocabulary below.


Weather forecast = a report on weather conditions
Be in for = be certain to experience something unpleasant
About = approximately
Scared = frightened
Be used to = be accustomed to
Tough = hard; difficult 
Fireplace = a place in a room where a fire burns
Cozy = comfortable

Referência: “Inglês Fluente em 30 Lições” – José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora.

Swing by

to visit a person or place briefly (visitar uma pessoa ou um lugar rapidamente; “passar por”; “dar um pulo”)

“Can you swing by my office later today?”, Bart asked Nick.
Você pode dar um pulo no meu escritório mais tarde?”, Bart perguntou ao Nick.

“You can tell your brother I will swing by his school after work to pick him up from soccer practice.”, Doug´s father told him.
“Fala para o seu irmão que eu passo na escola depois do trabalho para pegá-lo após o treino de futebol.”, o pai de Doug disse a ele.

Referência: “600 Phrasal Verbs” – Jonathan T. Hogan e José Roberto A. Igreja, Disal Editora.

No pain, no gain!

Click on the link below to listen to the dialogue “No pain, no gain!”


As you listen to the dialogue watch out for the words and expressions presented below.

All set = ready
Ex. “I’m all set. Let’s go!”, said Tony to a friend.
Grand opening = official opening of a new business
Ex. Many people were invited for the grand opening of the new store.
Around the clock = without stopping
Ex. The marketing team worked around the clock to finish the project on time.
Smoothly = with no problems or difficulties
Ex. “So, is everything running smoothly at the plant?”, Mr. Barns asked the plant manager.
Pay off = have profitable results; be worth doing
Ex. “I hope all this hard work pays off eventually!”, said Greg to a coworker.
Expansion = the process of making a business grow
Ex. “Thanks to our rapid expansion across the country our company has been offering many jobs in several departments,” explained Mr. Jones at the meeting.
Franchise = a right to sell a company’s products or services in a particular area using the company’s name
Ex.There are good business opportunities in the franchise world.
Profitable = yielding a profit
Ex. “It sounds like a profitable investment. Tell me more about it,” said Ray to a friend.
Franchisee = someone who is granted a franchise to market a company’s products or services in a particular area
Ex. “Do you know if that company is looking for franchisees in other areas of the country?”, Neil asked a colleague.
No pain, no gain = one has to work hard to get good results
Ex. Mick: It sure takes a lot of physical exercise to be in good shape.
Howard: I know! No pain, no gain, right?

Referência: Fale tudo em Inglês nos Negócios! José Roberto A. Igreja – Disal Editora   Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.


English for Job Interviews

Career in manufacturing

Interviewer: You’ve been working in maintenance as a coordinator I see. What have you liked about the job?
Interviewee: I like the challenges the most. I work with the director to come up with ways to motivate and use the machines to their best capacity.
Interviewer: Have you had any big challenges at your last job that can display your leadership and communication skills?
Interviewee: My director created a new program for saving energy. For these changes to happen, I would have to train the staff to learn how to observe any energy loss the machines might have and how to be autonomous with their job.
Interviewer: Can you expand regarding your staff being autonomous please?Interviewee: What my director and I decided to do was to train each machine operator to learn how to repair any problems that might happen to their machine. We also gave them new guidelines on how to better preserve energy. This was important because if the workers could repair their own machines, it would save a lot of time for me and my director.
Interviewer: Can you tell me how you handled an emergency situation, if you had one before. If not, how did you prepare for a possible crisis?
Interviewee: My director and I were given strict guidelines from our corporate headquarters on what do to. It was our job to train our staff. We would have emergency drills every two months. We also had monthly checks on the machines to make sure they were running properly.
Interviewer: Have you ever had to settle a conflict between two workers?
Interviewee: Never a strong conflict. But I have had disagreements and arguments that have happened. I believe in open communication and my door is always open. I would bring in one at a time to get their story and then both together after talking to them privately. I believe in listening and being empathetic. It always worked.
Interviewer: Manufacturing can be quite repetitive and stressful. Did you have any methods to help ease this with your staff?
Interviewee: Yes. I had a room that was called the “time-out room”. This was where they could play cards, music or relax on a sofa during their break. They seemed to like this because it showed that we cared enough about them.
Interviewer: I see. The “time-out room” seems to be also a good place for employees complaining of repetitive strain injury!
Interviewee: Definitely!
Interviewer: And what are your strengths in your opinion?
Interviewee: I am a strong communicator and motivator. I expect a lot from my workers, but I give a lot back as a leader. I am quite organized and have a systematic way of keeping track of overhead and maintenance problems.

Vocabulary & expressions – Career in manufacturing
Come up with ways: think of ways; find ways.
To display/displayed/displayed: to clearly show an attitude or quality by what you do or say.
Staff: a group of people who work for an organization, or for a manager in an organization.
Strict guidelines: severe policy or conduct.
Headquarters: the main building or offices used by an organization. Veja “matriz; sede de empresa” p. xx
Emergency drill: an occasion when people practice what they should do in a dangerous situation; exercise; practice.
Running properly: working in an adequate or appropriate manner.
Settle a conflict: bring a conflict to an end.
Arguments (pl.)/argument (sing.): a situation in which two or more people disagree, often angrily; controversy; dispute.
Empathetic: able to understand other people’s feelings and problems.
To ease/eased/eased: to relieve from distress; to lessen the tension of; to make easier.
Break: a period of time when you stop working in order to rest, eat, etc; an interruption; a short period of rest. Veja “pausa; intervalo” p. xx
RSI: Repetitive Strain Injury. Veja “LER: lesão por esforço repetitivo” p. xx
Strengths (pl.) / strength (sing.): a positive quality that makes you more effective. Veja “pontos fortes e pontos fracos” p. xx
Keeping track of overhead: maintaining a record of general business expenses.

Referência: “English for Job Interviews” – José Roberto A. Igreja e Robert C. Young Disal Editora. Clique aqui para conhecer este livro.