The entrepreneurial journey is lonely—especially for those looking to start a business in Latin America, where opportunities are ripe but resources are scarce. Brian Requarth is well acquainted with the challenges unique to this part of the world, having grown Viva Real from two people to over 500 employees, and tens of millions in dollars of revenue.

Now, Brian wants to help demystify the obstacles entrepreneurs will face, teach what’s not taught in business school, and offer inspiration and encouragement for others.

In his new book, Viva the Entrepreneur, Brian shares the lessons he learned while building his company. He shows readers how to manage their own psychology and their operations, be it working with co-founders, building a culture, or managing a board of directors. Brian also reveals the secrets of scaling a business and best practices for raising venture capital in Latin America. I recently caught up with Brian to learn more about his book-writing journey.

Published with permission from the author.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

I realized after having struggled myself to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship in Latin America, that there just wasn’t a lot of resources that were tailored to the experience of building something in that region. Everything was people looking up to the U.S. or other places as benchmarks on how to do things. I had some unique experiences that I wanted to share and I wanted to write the book that I wish I had when I had started my business, Viva Real.

The exact moment I realized it was when I read a book that inspired me, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. It resonated a lot with me, but what I realized after reading it was that it was the reality of Silicon Valley. It wasn’t the reality of Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, or Latin America.

In my journey, I was inspired by a local entrepreneur who built an incredible business in MercadoLibre, which is one of the largest internet companies in the world to come out of Argentina. I felt like there needed to be more local role models of people that reinvested back in the local ecosystem and shared those insights. So I can remember distinctly realizing that I wanted to share that experience and pay it forward in helping the next generation of entrepreneurs build iconic companies in Latin America.

Published with permission from the author.

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

Look at the region as just this incredible opportunity. We have large markets with hundreds of millions of people and a lot of inefficiencies in Latin America, which means there are lots of business opportunities. This book is tailored to those that want to build venture-backed companies. Raising venture capital is something I learned about by making mistakes.

Everything from identifying if it’s a market that will support venture capital to how to go about raising capital and running it like a process, to understand the psychology of investors. So, I think that everything around deciding where to focus, understanding what the opportunity looks like as a venture-backed company, and running a tight process is my favorite idea.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

I made every mistake in the book when I tried to raise capital because I did not understand the game that’s played when you’re raising capital. Make no mistake: there is a whole game to be played. It comes down to having the right signals and understanding the psychology of investors. You have to understand what’s important to them and how they operate.

The more you understand all of those things, the better your chances of success. I learned these lessons the hard way because I made a lot of mistakes in that process. What I hope to teach people is some best practices and some pitfalls to avoid in that process—lessons that I learned during my entrepreneurial journey and that I applied in my life after I learned them.