Purveyors of home based businesses often see themselves as visionaries; after all, it takes insight and foresight to build something from nothing. The entrepreneurial spirit guides our thoughts and provides motivation to move forward.

Forward, however, often leads us into the tunnel. We think narrowly, and miss opportunities to broaden our perspective. We follow models that work, so as not to re-invent the wheel. We depend solely on our creation to transform our situation and lifestyle. Tunnel vision, touted by society as a positive, can cause disaster for entrepreneurs.

Here are 5 tips to break free from the tunnel:

1. Don’t re-invent the wheel for basic stuff. Models are time savers and life savers. That being said, continuously look for better, innovative ways to promote and run your particular business. Sometimes the tried and true can become tired and restrictive.

2. Diversify. We diversify our investments to help ensure longevity. We need to diversify our sources of business revenue as well. Putting every ounce of energy into building one leg of your business might grow that area quickly, but what happens if that leg breaks? You are out of luck and out of business. Think of opportunities to develop income streams that don’t require huge amounts of your time and effort, and work those areas as well as your core business. Make sure that those sources of income are truly diverse. One of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make is that those potential income streams are too similar and end up fighting against one another. They need to be independent.

3. Look for the clouds. We’re taught from an early age to look for the silver lining. That’s a wonderful mentality that helps us maintain a positive outlook on life. As a small business owner, however, you need to look for the clouds, correct the problems before the torrential downpour starts, and then find the silver lining.

4. Create a Board of Directors. “Together we are strong” is the company motto for Lyoness. That simple statement carries with it boatloads of truth. Alone, we can do good things. Surrounded by others whose goal is to help us think broadly, to support us, and to teach us, we can do mighty things. Your Board of Directors doesn’t need to be fancy-schmancy. Think mentors, people who possess business skills you desire, and those who think differently than you.

5. Work for clients rather than yourself. Most businesses are driven by the bottom line – How much money can we possibly make? As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to identify your clients’ needs and develop programs that not only meet them but exceed them. This mentality will continue to generate new clients, increasing your bottom line. People like to feel understood, important, and heard. When they do, they’ll share that with others.

Breaking free from tunnel vision requires intentionality. It’s a choice. In the words of the knight from Indiana Jones, “Choose, but choose wisely.”

Author's Bio: 

Heather Doering, national speaker and trainer, is co-founder of Women Empowered Businesses (WEB) and publisher of "Escape From the 9 to 5," a weekly online magazine dedicated to helping women leave the grind behind. She is a single work-from-home mom who endeavors to equip women with the tools to build successful home-based businesses.

Heather holds a degree in Psychology from Michigan State University, has over 10 years mentoring women and is a certified life coach, helping women successfully transition from a j.o.b. to a work from home career. She coaches and consults with companies and individuals who seek to grow their businesses through new and creative ways of approaching the market.

For more info on starting a home-based business, branding and setting goals, get "Escape from the 9 to 5", my free weekly online magazine here: http://www.IN3Network.com. And for even more resources, see http://www.welcometoourweb.wordpress.com