Over the past 25 years, I have coached thousands of business owners through various stages of growth. Some have joined Maui Mastermind in the early stages, where they struggled with time management and hiring and delegation. While others have joined later in the game looking for guidance on how to scale and grow their already successful businesses. 

As we move into the new year, I wanted to share with you the eight bad business habits that we teach all our clients to avoid for accelerated growth. 

According to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Index, 57 percent of business owners in the U.S. work six days a week, and more than 20 percent of them work seven days a week. This level of exertion is not sustainable and will leave you mentally and physically exhausted. 

In the new year focus on working on more high value tasks and avoiding putting out "fires" that come up along the way. 

To produce at your best, you need interruption free chunks of time in which to get valuable work done.  Understand that email is addictive, and when you answer one email you will likely get sucked into answering more and more. Guard your time wisely and stop checking your email every few minutes throughout the day. 

At the core of micromanagement is a lack of trust. And that doesn't always mean that it's of any fault of the employee. It may mean that as a business owner, you doubt your ability to hire and train your employees properly. So you feel the need to watch their every move. Or perhaps you don't trust in your ability to delegate projects, so you hover trying to give them the proper guidance to finish the project. As a leader, it's imperative that you practice trusting and believing in the team members that you hire.

The single most important hiring step to increase your odds of making a successful hire is to get clear on precisely who you are looking for, and to do this in writing. Hire for your must haves.  Don't allow yourself to be captivated by irrelevant extras, hire for your must have.

Quite the anxious voice in your head by asking the following questions. 

What matters most?

For the sake of what?

How much is enough?

This year practice your negotiation skills by focusing on the end goal. This seems pretty obvious, but the majority of business owners show up to the negotiation table without a clear cut idea of what they want to achieve at the end of the day. This rookie mistake can cost you millions.

The right business tribe can be transformative. They can help you go from a struggling owner-reliant business to an owner-independent company much faster than you thought possible. But be careful when choosing your tribe.  Character is contagious. 

In the new year, be honest with yourself. Most business owners have a "stated" strategy. This is where you say you company will invest its best time, attention, talent, and money to progress the company to its most important goals. This is the "theoretical" part of creating your strategy.

Then there is the second layer - the actual strategy your company is following regardless of what your pretty strategic plan says. This second layer is the practical, "on the ground" reality of how your company's daily decisions actually direct your top company resources. It is the accumulation of all these small decisions about where you and your team actually do invest your time, talent, attention, and money that define what your strategy actually is in the real world.

Here is to a productive new year full of growth and progress!