The fast food industry got the idea for drive-in windows from banks. I guess there was a McDonald’s executive sitting at the bank drive-through one day who thought, “I don’t think we can fit the milkshakes in these tubes, but…” The microwave in your kitchen was not originally intended to go there; its original manufacturer, Litton, believed no consumer would buy it and built them only for restaurants. When was the last time you heard of Litton?

What does this tell you? That successful businesses get inspiration from outside the box than from within. Ordinary businesses stay ordinary, their owners eking out only ordinary incomes – and working too hard for them – as long as those owners stubbornly stay in their own tiny box that they themselves have created.

Breakthroughs come from bringing fresh ideas found outside one’s own business and applying them in new ways. You choose to limit or expand your income by the way you reject or embrace ideas you find all around you.

The vast majority of ordinary business people with ordinary incomes and never-ending ordinary complaints about how hard they work but how little they gain, about being unable to compete with the bigger and cheaper…have this in common: they get their hands on powerful information and marketing systems and don’t do anything with it.

Here is an example of what I hear from “boxed” restaurant owners: Oh, that won’t work for me because her place sells pizza and I sell Chinese food, and hers is in a medium sized city and I’m in a small town, and it rains a lot where she is but it’s sunny here; you have to show me an example from a Chinese restaurant in a small town where it’s hot and dry.

Stuck in a very limiting “But My Restaurant Is Different” box, thereby negating the value of 99% of every successful strategy, example, model they see or are presented with.

One of the most successful marketing strategies of all time is called- FREE gift for (fill in desired response from your prospect). To the best of my knowledge, it came from a woman named Estee’ Lauder. I wonder how many people from how many different fields ignored it for how long, because: “Nothing having to do with selling lipsticks and perfumes could possibly apply to MY business. MY business is different.”