This adorable Verizon commercial has been around for a while but I don’t really watch TV (I know, I’m a freak) so I only just recently caught it. I love it, not only because it’s funny (the exchange between the boy and dad at the end is priceless) but, for many of us that run our own business, it’s impossible not to recognize a bit of ourselves in Suzy.

Her father gives her the phone because he only sees a single purpose that relates to her business: the calculator. But she immediately sees much more potential and uses all of the resources available to build her business. Of course, the commercial takes it to the over-the-top level for comedic effect but the same general idea applied to all of us. Think of the origins of things like PayPal, eBay, blogs, Twitter, and mobile content. Where others saw cutesy tools to sell the occasional item, split the bill, keep an online diary, or chat with friends, we saw the tools to build our own little e-commerce empires and to market our businesses. We were able to look beyond the obvious purpose of the tool and see its full potential.

This is something that separates successful entrepreneurs and small business owners from the average person, otherwise everyone would be good at running their own business and history has shown that isn’t the case.

But my question for you is: Do you think this ability to think outside the box can be taught or it is something we are born with? In other words, would we have had these instincts as children like little Suzy or is it something we all learned in the school of life?

I also totally want a slide in my office.