Mark Lyttleton is an angel investor, speaker and business mentor. With stakes in more than 30 companies today, Mark Lyttleton recognises all too well the key skills required to be successful in business. This article will look at the mindset and qualities necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.

Successful entrepreneurs do more than just working hard. They work smarter. Many people associate entrepreneurship with working 18-hour days: eating, sleeping and breathing the business. Most people envision a founder to be someone who is so driven to succeed that their whole life revolves around their enterprise. Although hard work is undeniably a vital component of business success, working every waking moment of the day does not, by default, make someone a successful entrepreneur. In fact, failing to delegate is a common weakness in fledgling entrepreneurs.

Trying to do it all can leave entrepreneurs so bogged down with minutiae that there is no time left for what they really need to be concentrating on: the strategic vision to build and grow their business. Overworking leads to fatigue, which in turn leads to critical mistakes. Effective leaders invest in building teams to take on tasks they are not good at, freeing up their time for other essential activities. The attached infographic outlines the qualities required for effective business leadership.

Successful entrepreneurs get more done while spending less. While established companies generally rely on skilled full-time employees, early-stage companies often outsource work to third-party contractors and freelancers. Thanks to basic supply and demand, this can be extremely affordable, with many freelancers based overseas where the cost of living is much lower. You can learn more about the rise of the gig economy by viewing the attached PDF.

Being paralysed by fear of failure is a common problem among business founders. While working smart, building the right teams and doing more with less are all key steps to building a profitable business, unfortunately, they do not guarantee success. However daunting a business decision may be, often any action is better than taking no action at all. Without taking calculated risks, businesses are less likely to succeed.

A great business leader has the courage to make tough choices. They also have the wherewithal to gather all of the data required to make informed decisions, limiting the risk of failure. Finally, they have the tenacity to see these choices through, waking up with purpose each day and working relentlessly; achieving short and long-term goals; and driving the success of their business and growing themselves at the same time.