Success comes from hard work, being where the action is, never giving up and realizing the only obstacles are the ones in your mind.

That advice comes from Raymond L. Hixson, chairman and chief executive officer of Bonneville Pacific Corp., a Salt Lake-based independent power producer that has 27 power plants in operation and several more under construction or in the design stage."Never give up," Hixson said in receiving the entrepreneur of the year award from the MountainWest Venture Group in the Marriott Hotel. Hixson received an oversized light bulb mounted on a large piece of wood with the inscription "May his ideas always shine bright."

Hixson, a former University of Utah vice president and president of Snowbird Corp., said he decided while at Snowbird that he wanted to be independent so in 1976 he started Bonneville Associates, a business consulting firm, with John T. Dunlop. Each put in $2,000.

Later he founded Hixson & Co., and that evolved into Bonneville Pacific, a company with $250 million in assets that will pay about 85 cents per share for the year ending April 30, 1989.

Hixson said success comes from having an opportunity, making an effort and being lucky. He said Bonneville Pacific got in on the ground floor in the independent power producing effort, but he and his staff were willing to take risks for a high return.

There is a growing need for independently produced electricity, Hix-son said, and the project produced by independents have a good track record. He said by the year 2000 there will be a need for 126,000 megawatts of electricity and 60 percent of that amount will be produced by independent firms.

Also honored at the Thursday luncheon was Burt Bunnell, founder of Bunnell Inc., producers of a high frequency jet ventilator to help premature infants breath. He received a very large pair of scissors mounted on a plaque with a red ribbon being cut, symbolizing his lengthy effort to cut Federal Food and Drug Administration red tape in getting his device approved for general sale.

Steve Jacobsen, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Engineering Design at the University of Utah, received an oversized coffee cup and saucer, symbol of his cup running over because of his many inventive ideas.