Ask an Expert: Christopher Penney

Christopher Penney (Photo by Ahna Hubnik)How can you achieve entrepreneurial success?

While many people may have an idea to start a business or make a product, very few go on to be successful. Christopher Penney, assistant professor of management in UNT's College of Business, says there are many contributing factors to seeing an idea through to fruition, but following your passion is key.

"There isn't one golden ticket to success. It's more of an attitude than anything," he says, adding that it takes hard work. "The most passionate people are the ones who will overcome all the obstacles and gain success."

Create a mindset

  • Whether it's a better dog leash or a new way to manufacture something, the first step is committing to your great idea.
  • Make a plan. What sets entrepreneurs apart from people with an idea is a willingness to put a business plan into place and act on it.

Stay open-minded

  • Adapt to an ever-changing business landscape. Your guiding principles should remain constant, but keep the business plan flexible.
  • It never hurts to ask someone with more experience for advice. For example, when outfitting your business, a fellow business owner in your area might offer insight on local sign regulations, saving you from potential fines.
  • Brainstorm with others around you to help create and refine a more cohesive outlook. There might be flaws in your plan that you had not considered without their input.

Keep perspective

  • Define your success -- it's not always measured by profit, but by goal accomplishment.
  • Stay humble and avoid the 'me' mentality. It's vital to present a team front and share victories. Successful entrepreneurs realize they did not get where they are without lots of help.

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