Mental Models - Our Way of Thinking

Issue # 8 - Looking at our metal models and reflecting on our way of thinking.

Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash

👋 Hi friends, I hope everyone is keeping safe and doing well. I am beyond happy how much this newsletter has grown. Since its first issue on November 22, 2020, we are now sitting at 50+ subscribers. This may not seem like a lot to some, but it's humbling and encourages me to keep posting content. This lead to me down the path of thinking about our mental models, feelings, thoughts and how they play an important role when starting a business. In this week's issue, I dive into the mental models intending to reflect on ourselves and how we think.

Learning to Think Better

As entrepreneurs when we embark on our first business, chances are there are plenty of things we don't know. Maybe we understand technology but clueless in accounting. This brings up my first point, being an entrepreneur means we are constantly learning new things. Being a 'student' means we are always willing to learn, even when things make little sense.

The way we think about things is proportional to the models in our head and the relation to the situation we face. Obviously, the more mental models we have, the better equipped to address these situations. Because each one of us is different, the way we see or interpret things is different.

The first rule is that you can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try to stack them with little thought. If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form. You've got to have models in your head. And you've got to array your experience both vicarious and direct on this latticework of models. You've got to hang experience on a latticework of models in your head in order to actually understand and recall them.

General Thinking Concepts

First Principles of Thinking

First principles thinking is one of the best ways to reverse-engineer complicated situations and unleash creative possibility. Sometimes called 'reasoning from first principles', it’s a tool to help clarify complicated problems by separating the underlying ideas or facts from any assumptions based on them. What remains are the essentials. If you know the first principles of something, you can build the rest of your knowledge around them to produce something new.

Second Order Thinking

Almost everyone can expect the immediate results of their actions. This type of first-order thinking is easy and safe, but it’s also a way to ensure you get the same results that everyone else gets. Second-order thinking is thinking farther ahead and thinking holistically. It requires us to not only consider our actions and their immediate consequences, but the subsequent effects of those actions as well. Failing to consider the second and third-order effects can unleash disaster.


Inversion is a powerful tool to improve your thinking because it helps you identify and remove obstacles to success. The root of inversion is “invert,” which means to upend or turn upside down. As a thinking tool, it means approaching a situation from the opposite end of the natural starting point. Most of us think one way about a problem: forward. Inversion allows us to flip the problem around and think backward. Sometimes it’s good to start at the beginning, but it can be more useful to start at the end.

Expanding our thinking to devolve beyond "I want to be successful" or "I want ABC" is important in order for us to grow. I really believe our mental model and how we think and archive information needs to change to better reflect ourselves and what problems we want to solve.

I am reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k and this quote stood out to me

"True happiness is finding the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving".

The book references problems as being not something we should shy away from, but something we should focus on. Living a life without problems is just not possible. Warren Buffett has money problems (in his own way) and Joe from the gas station also has money problems. Although different, they are problems nonetheless. The point is failure, a problem, is part of success. Without it is like being lost in a forest without a compass.

In next weeks issue, I will be digging into Kernel Sanders and his journey which begins in hardship but ultimately reaches success. If you are enjoying this newsletter and finding it beneficial you can support me by buying me a coffee 💌

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As always thanks for reading. Have a great week, and let’s start this new year with love, hope, and prosperity.