FTTea with Cokie: What People Don't Tell You When Starting A Company

Hi y’all, Cokie here. 

I’d love to tell you I hit the ground running. I’d love to tell you I adjusted well, pushed myself, freed up creative space, and had a breakthrough.

I’d love to tell you all of that, but I can’t lie to you.

As of last week, I am officially a full time founder. And in week one, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt suddenly confused and displaced, as if everything I had been building towards didn’t actually exist and the routine I had was a distant memory. 

**I want to quickly shoutout my friends at The Block for being super gracious throughout this process and so supportive of me in general. This was a decision I agonized over. Mostly because I didn't *want* to leave The Block -- I just knew that Lasagna needed me more.

Week One Journal

So, like, why did I go full time? Honestly -- I couldn’t deny it any longer. If I was reflective enough to keep a journal, week one would have seemed indulgent to say the least. 

Day 1: Oh…you know what I haven’t done in a while? Slept. I’m going to try that.

Day 2: Ok, so you’re saying I need to be on calls? Hear me out: what if instead of having a call, we skipped it indefinitely? 

Day 3: Listen, I just need to go blonde. (Writer’s note: This did not look good and has now been rectified). The best work I got done today was at 11pm. 

Day 4: Time to be a normal human. Normal workday. With a hangover. From two drinks. Because I’m old now. Okay, I’ll do one thing and then I’ll take a nap. Actually, this will take 5 minutes, I’ll do something else after and then take a nap. 

Okay. Now I’ll take a nap two hours before bed! What could possibly go wrong?!!? 

Day 5: I don’t know what Lasagna does though, you know? Like…what does it do?

I think you get the point. I was lost, exhausted, both over and underworked, overwhelmed. I just wasn’t myself, or at least, I wasn’t the version of myself that I had imagined when I left my job to be a full time founder. 

I allowed myself to be this shittier, less motivated version of myself for a week. Just because I’m a founder doesn’t make me invincible. I’m writing this because I wanted to normalize the despondence you will face often as a founder. Something I’m sure to face again and again. Something I know several of you face most days. 

But then, suddenly, it was all worth it.

Friday night, on a call with a friend, I saw it. For the first time, I saw the product in my head. I had never seen it before. It was so cool. And that moment of pure ecstasy is not one I’ll soon forget. 

I guess what this is about is: you fail, you cry, you nap, you watch Sailor Moon just to feel alive, but then one day…you see it. 

And voila, the view is spectacular. 

On Thursday, premium subscribers heard from regulatory expert John Collins from FS Vector with thoughts on how DC might respond to this whole Robinhood-Reddit-Gamestop saga:

"Now, if you are Gary Gensler, who was just nominated by President Biden to be the new head of the SEC, you were probably having a great few weeks. New, cool job. New office. Figuring out all of the things you want to do and focus on. Probably had a few nice dinners and bottles of wine to celebrate. Some really good times.

And then, someone texts him and he discovers that a bunch of people on Reddit with handles like “Tripleh280” and “Styux” and “DeepF******Value” really sort of messed things up his day. They really put a damper on the wine. And now he has Congressional leaders calling and saying, “Bro. Bro. What’s up with this? What are you going to do?'"

Julie once said that John is the male version of me, and I take that as a compliment since his writing is pretty damn good. Speaking of Julie, premium subs will hear from her on Sunday (tomorrow) to either dive deep into the challenger bank business model or to take a broader look at where we go from here in retail trading. Whichever one she doesn't choose for tomorrow, premium subs will get on Tuesday in a special edition. And as you might have noticed, we keep adding more and more content for our premium members, yet we haven't raised the price. I'd get in on that before we have the chance to change it if I were you. Just sayin'. 

See you next week! 

Cokie Hasiotis is the founder of Lasagna Tech and resident baddie at Fintech Today. She’s passionate about BaaS for societal good, financial inclusion, and community banking. Previously, Cokie has worked at BCG, The Block, 11:FS, and AFME. In her limited spare time, Cokie enjoys competitively reaching her step count, the musical stylings of the early 2000s, and dismantling the patriarchy.