Life’s Tug of War

Ducorp XTM
Published in
3 min readJun 10, 2019


During a discussion with one of our team members, I got in pretty deep describing Ducorp’s business structure and model. The conversation turned to a reflection about life in general.

Today, after 15 years of experience hustling in business, I am a believer that my emotional and my practical side are entirely independent of each other, yet complimentary. I understand that this statement is confusing, even a paradox.

I believe that my emotional side is the sole driver of identifying dreams and visions. On the other hand, my practicality is the fuel that allows me to get to my goals. For a long time, I mixed the two and tried to figure out a balance so that these two sides of my personality could operate in unity. With some perspective, I recognize how futile this was.

My mind views these sides as magnets attracted to each other. I often fell into the trap of going with the flow, letting these forces play out, when, in fact, I realize that I should have kept them separate. Treating an emotional reaction with practicality removes the natural bond we have with other human beings, whereas introducing emotions in a practical situation blinds us from reality.

Not understanding the above has been my adult life’s great tragedy until about a year ago. I look around sadly as I see others I come in contact with behaving as I did— others, much much older than I am.

Recently, I was asked how I lived my truth? The answer is to picture yourself as the only person on earth. What would you do, how would you act, how would you behave when no one is around to witness your life? That, I believe, is you. Your practicality is surviving with the tools that you have available or that you can conjure up. There is no one to hear you. No opinion shapes who you are.

I think that as an entrepreneur and businessman, this is an essential skill that builds confidence. When you hear no-one but your voice, you get to be calm and try things. When you fail, there is no impact, no judgment which scares you out of trying again. When you succeed, you feel a sense of accomplishment and encouragement.

Society changes the rules of the game.

We know that humans are inherently social animals. When we are ourselves, those that share the same belief system congregate in groups (or communities); Some form big groups, some smaller ones. In those groups, we genuinely care about others, are predisposed to give without expectations, and don’t waste time with negativity.

Our collective challenge is to thrive within our community. We must also co-exist with those that do not partake in our same beliefs.

We must rethink what thriving (i.e., success) means. It is not money, but gratitude. You get appreciation when you give with no expectations of return. Giving with an expectation is manipulation and can be subconsciously felt as such. To give, one must communicate. Communicating is sharing, storytelling.

Practicality is the other side of the equation. On that end, we must listen intently and care about the opinion of others. That’s because we should be useful and solve other people’s problems from within and outside our community (together, our business audience) to earn a living. When we do this, our intent should be clear and separate from giving. It’s a trade.

At Ducorp and XTM, our media company will never accept money to push content. No advertising. We document our journey, who we are, who we come in contact with, and share it. Our business ventures are only plots in our story. We don’t sell, only make you aware they exist through sharing our journey. The choice of taking the step to experience and buy the products or services is yours to take. There are no inducements, no trickery.

One last takeaway: My thesis is that the judge of our emotional intelligence is the health of our relationships. The judge of our practicality is the free market. We should give both the respect they deserve.

James Duchenne.

XTM; 2019.



Ducorp XTM

Seed-Stage VC targeting the technology sector in emerging markets. We unearth disruptors in hard-to-reach places and channel their work, anywhere.