The dark side of entrepreneurship: Mark & Tara

From: Pete Erickson

Subject: Fw: Re: f2f secret messaging

Date: 22 May 2017 at 10:21:56 GMT+1

To: Anca Paulovich

Dear Mrs. Paulovich, today is my first day at the office and I got a new notebook. However it looks like the IT team didn’t properly erase the data on it. Curiously the following is the only thing they left.

I could not find any Mark Thomson currently at the company so I attach the message to you.

Kind regards,


From: Mark Thomson

Subject: Re: f2f secret messaging

Date: 18 February 2017 at 09:07:29 GMT+1

To: Tara Harris

Hey, I’m sorry for this long delay. I had a crazy couple of months and I did not have time to keep to our agreement. I’m loaded with thoughts and certain sensation of hopelessness. I hope this message will not be a drag on your days… but isn’t that the reason why we decided to write instead of talk in the first place? Go, get a cup of coffee, sit down, open your umbrella and get ready to get wet under my dark grey cloud.

There are so many stories, events, opportunities, trainings programs. So many options for me to feel as if I still need to do more in order to finally become successful. I tried it all, and in the end I would always find myself  in the same place: without money and struggling.

I just don’t know anymore if trying to do something meaningful, walking the difficult path is worth the effort. I don’t even know what is the purpose of all of this. The only thing I know is that I need money in order to move forward.

You know, I am aware I should feel grateful because I live in a country full of opportunities with access to all the basics and blah blah blah. However, I do not feel that way because everything is so freaking difficult anyway. If I get a job I can last a month but I will feel forced; If I go the startup way, I’ll have to work very hard and, most likely than not, I’ll not earn enough money either.

Yes I know, I’m trapped in a pessimistic whirlpool. I’m ready for your rainbow 🙂

From: Tara Harris

Subject: Re: f2f secret messaging

Date: 18 February 2017 at 13:21:43 GMT+1

To: Mark Thomson

You are not the only one lagging in our correspondence. My seeds of success were sown a few months ago and I started to see some of them growing. I dedicated myself to “water” them to see if they would grow any faster. In the meantime my daytime job is paying the bills. I made some time to enjoy a couple of  days hiking with Tom. They were amazing.

You know, I understand how you feel. Isn’t almost everybody in the same situation? I gave up the idea of becoming the best architect ever; that rat race is futile. I just decided to be extremely pragmatic, realistic and manage to free enough time to enjoy my weekends to the fullest.

I don’t care if my dad thinks I wasted my architecture degree and my mom thinks I’m getting too old to get pregnant. I got a job to pay the bills and have my weekends free. I dedicate a few hours per week to keep illustrating, which makes me forget the world around me. And you know what? A friend of a friend just asked me to illustrate her new phantasy book! She is also just starting so she offered me a small payment –  I’ll use it to surprise Tom one of these days.

From: Mark Thomson

Subject: Re: f2f secret messaging

Date: 19 February 2017 at 01:17:11 GMT+1

To: Tara Harris

Yup, I must keep it simple and focused and I need to reward my efforts with enjoyable weekends. I was thinking to build an aquaponics system to support my organic production of herbs. Sounds as a great weekend project, doesn’t it?

If I understand correctly, you are trying to tell me that instead of focusing on what I need to improve I should pay attention to what is possible at the moment? And when you say that you gave up your career as an architect, you mean you changed your expectations of an amazing professional future for the satisfaction of keep illustrating without the pressures of a traditional job?

Aren’t you afraid of staying with your current small job, and never achieving your potential and economic success?

From: Tara Harris

Subject: Re: f2f secret messaging

Date: 19 February 2017 at 16:23:28 GMT+1

To: Mark Thomson

Well yes, it worries me a bit. I’ve heard that if I don’t try to strive for the top, I will never get there. But if everybody else is trying to do the same is there going to be enough space for all of us at the top? Is ‘the top’ the only place to arrive at in order to enjoy a normal life?

Although I never thought to work as an assistant for a small logistics company, I’m doing a good job and maybe I’ll even get a promotion. It’s the kind of potential I wasn’t even considering. My art happens when I’m at peace at home and I truly hope it manages to inspire others in unexpected ways. At the end of the day what is your full potential? Isn’t it the unexpected result of a life with meaning?

The dark side of entrepreneurship is a series of short articles written by Jose Antonio Morales touching on the subject of empowerment, fear & failure, growth in relation to entrepreneurship. 

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