We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirt Linington and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kirt, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking is a key factor not only in life but in business. With high risk comes high reward and with no risk comes no reward. I’ve learned to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. I believe that fear of failure keeps people from taking risks. If you have to sit and worry about the “What If’s”, in life or your career then you more than likely should’ve taken a risk than to sit and think about could’ve, would’ve,should’ve. If you don’t have the answers to your problems, and you never decide to take the risk you won’t move forward. Don’t be afraid to take a risk because of more work, especially in your career. Taking risks in life correlates with taking risks in your career. Create a mindset that taking a risk will only make you better.

What should our readers know about your business?

Linear Roofing & General Contractors isn’t just a business but a contagious culture that everyone wants to be a part of. From customers to employees to friends and family. Linear Roofing was established in 2015 with a small dream that grew into a limitless brand. Linear Roofing & General Contractors has added a Solar Division named Linear Solar.

I was an executive VP of LA Fitness for 20 years and left to start Linear Roofing & General Contractors in 2015. I started with a team of three and started door knocking at 42 years old. We’ve grown and built out to over 240 people. I believed that until you become a household name there’s no reason to go anywhere else. I’m from South Africa and came to the US outside of the roofing industry but made a huge splash coming into the industry. I met some people at LA Fitness who had been in roofing and went back to roofing. I did some research and put some money into roofing and teamed up with someone who knew roofing. It was never my strategy to leave, I wanted to run LA Fitness and eventually be the guy of LA Fitness. It organically started and we did the first roof and I thought that was pretty cool and easy and we ran numbers and I thought, this is profitable. I did roofing and LA Fitness simultaneously for four years. I was making three times the money in my part time job than with my full time job. It was a bittersweet moment leaving LA Fitness but it was not a waste of time. A lot of what we do today, were the lessons I gained in multi leadership and management, personal development and lessons in developing a team and culture and brought it to this business. I implemented all I learned into my own business and developed its own special culture.LA Fitness taught me an overload of lessons. Our whole lives people can tell us things but until we’re ready internally to receive the message and then we’re able to change things. It’s not the opportunity that pulled you in but that you were willing to receive the opportunity and grow. The first Hail storm was in Waxahachie and we met down there at a chick fil a at 5:30am. We wanted to be first and we knocked until noon, little hail and no damage. One of us said let’s go home and we all decided that we were going to knock until we found it and about 3:00 pm we found a street that had hail damage and ended up doing 26 homes on that street. That was our first positive momentum that set the stage for culture, work ethic, standards, profit margins, and all the dynamics that helped us stay the course. I am a huge believer in staying the course. Internally, you can’t keep jumping from company to company and it can’t always be everyone’s fault. In this industry there are alot of people that want overnight success without the willingness to persist and you see them hop around. Certain companies do poach our guys and promise them more but in most cases they aren’t here just for the money, but the culture. Turnover is pretty low for us and those low numbers are part of the course. I believe that with training, development, culture and teaching, we can help our people hit higher structures without creating problems. When covid Hit and we had about 50 guys. Door knocking was shut down completely in Texas and that was a big part of our business. We went out and hired everyone we know in sales,  who couldn’t go to work because of sales and we went through our modern day rolodex and jumped on roofs of people we knew and created an opportunity for people sitting at home to make money. I don’t know one person that went back to their sales job after. We doubled in size and in revenue after covid. Additionally, we’ve doubled revenue the last three years in a row. We didn’t want external circumstances to dictate what was going on. We wanted an Incentive program to give back to people. Most businesses had a scary time through covid but the beauty was that we were considered an essential business and we were blessed to be in that position of not buckling down but doubling up. We took all these guys in 9-5 jobs making x amount of dollars, that now have amazing success stories and are people still with us today that didn’t have work during covid. We’re trying to give people the freedom to truly enjoy their life and not live to pay for their life. Even if you made the same money and you have more time on your hands. Money shouldn’t dictate your actions, you should still wake up and put in the same amount of work and if you can focus on that then the money will come. I wanted to get people back to enjoying the quality of life.

It is a company built around exceptional customer service but a team that lifts each and everyone of us,  up together. We motivate each other and reward each other.One of the key pieces I’ve learned and implemented is that I’ve created a workplace that doesn’t discipline you but encourages you to do better and avoid little mistakes. Great leaders inspire commitment but ineffective leaders force compliance. Commitment vs. Compliance is a state of being committed or you’re in the state of compliance when you have a checklist and you think you’ve done your job. I saw that alot in corporate America , where it doesn’t become a winning or doing your best but it became an 8-5 and what can I do between those hours and collect the paycheck.Negative discipline can only lead to negative feedback from employees. We promote a positive environment and although challenges have arised, we’ve maneuvered through them and pushed past them. There should never be a lack of recognition in any company. If someone is working hard and pushing limits, it should be recognized. I have seen a lot of this world, viewing the unimaginable and being hungry on the street, but I didn’t let my negative instances dictate who I became. I want the world to know that your mind is something you can train and change, don’t get stuck in negative thoughts or habits. Outside forces will affect you and happen from day to day but the decision you make because of these outside forces will define your character and your behavior.

I believe my Success in this industry growth,  is due to being outside of the industry. We mostly hire people who haven’t been in the roofing industry. We hire the attitude and teach them the rest. There is always training going on and there is a philosophy for leadership.

Your top sales person isn’t your best leader because they are not organized, suck at personal discipline or something else negative. We spend time with our leaders to read books and talk about the chapters and the lessons on how we can apply it to our business. We continuously develop them. Being a buddy and not a boss is a small trap that people fall into. We are all human and we want to know our people and want to know our people’s goals but we have to have lines and know when to cross them and when not to. I believe in trying to control results instead of influencing thinking because you don’t know what someone is going through or what is going through their mind. But we work through these things and steps in leadership,  so nobody is left high and dry. If you’re in management and they call you with a problem, you feed it back, force them to try to solve it themselves and then if they can’t fix it you jump in and redirect. Start caring for your people. You need organic growth for your team. If at the end of the day the leaders are real and it’s not a show or act, I call it attraction power. People will be attracted to you. We focus on putting everything on social media. If you’re friends with our people, everything is on social media and you start building this vibe around Linear Roofing. They think wow, they are doing great things. It’s all by design not by chance. When people realize they want to start moving and not standing still or moving backwards,  they succeed.

People ask if we run an ad to hire people but as a company we don’t actively try to recruit. They all come through to us through social media and success stories. They see Linear Roofing and think this looks cool and fun and I’ll get a message about people who want to join the team. It’s all by design. We teach our people to consistently post their lives because if they post too much of their business, they will tune out. People will follow you first and then you can throw in a little piece of business. They’re following a character, an individual opposed to a business. This pulls in an overload of people who want to work for us, organically. We treat customers right and do what we say we do. We are building our brand to attract team members and it’s basically selling without selling.

This is where most companies miss the boat, you should be doing the exact same thing with your people. The point is if I look after you so much and you think this is the best then you’re going to tell all your friends. Everything starts with you.

Instead of trying to go on a recruiting campaign to hire more people , you should look internally to say where do I need to grow first to get this where I need to be, to bring more people in and make them successful. We are always doing social events with our people, they’re not just numbers. We connect with them and I believe there is so much value in their mental state that everything in this life is a mind game. When the mind is right it comes together, when it is wrong, it falls apart. The more time we can spend getting our mind right, the more our people will do things voluntarily. One great example is, If their mind is right you won’t have to force them to work on saturday because if their mind is right, they’ll want to do it. They should want to work on Saturday because they’ll get the best return on Saturday and even sunday. I tell my guys to work three and a half weeks and take a four day vacation every month, get a long weekend but when you’re working, work. We coach on so many things and I believe in the quote, “there’s no such thing as business problems but personal problems that run into the business.” I get people to talk on different life topics to help them grow. I don’t want any of my guys to pay property mortgage insurance or buy without 20% down etc. We work through things together. No one gets left behind and one of the slogans of Linear Roofing & General Contractors,LLC is We Are Not The Same.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many amazing places to visit and eat in Dallas but a place is only as good as the people you’re with.

I have a few places to visit Nick & Sams

Tk’s Comedy Club

Carbone Vino

Cowboys Club

Becks Prime


Highland Park Village

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I’d shout out my whole team at Linear and the people who surround me each day. I am a hardworking individual but I make sure that when I put my mind to something, I follow through and my people think the same way. We follow it to the end whether it is going south or not. Working endless hours and putting my efforts into my business also has to do with my home life. There are always a lot of factors and situations that push a person to success.

But at the end of the day, it’s the person internally that decides how to take those positive or negative situations and put them towards a bigger goal. The people that surround me today aren’t all of the people that surrounded me when I began my empire but I also have countless trustworthy companions that I consider family. I had many great mentors when I was at LA Fitness. These mentors guided me and gave me some of the best advice that I still implement today. My efforts from day to day go recognized by one of the most important in my life, my wife. The endless hours at work and travel, my wife continues to learn and grow with me. She understands the rhythm of business and all of my efforts and hard work. It’s not easy to find a spouse that understands that the work you do changes lives and betters others. Laura understands that I want to not only build and keep building but also build those around me. We leave positive imprints on those we meet and encourage everyone around us to not only to do better each day,  but to be better .

One big trap in the mind game is sharing your day with your loved one everyday without you realizing,  you’re building a monster and feeding the negativity everyday. Without you realizing, that person that loves you will respond emotionally and build resentment against the people you’re talking about and you’re building the beast even more. Over time this person is building up negativity and they start to tell you why you deal with that and you eventually will start buying into it. Your attitude changes and your headspace is negative but you created the monster yourself. Be cautious about day to day stuff that happens in business because what happens in business is in the moment but doesn’t linger. You’re unaware you’re building a wall and it’s growing and eventually you can’t see over it. The logic is gone and you can’t come back from the negativity.

Every relationship will work as long as they realize it’s a two way street. There is a work life balance. Number one, as guys we get caught up in being the breadwinner and to some degree it’s selfish and it’s not only about you and your career. It’s about your wife and family and kids and we get sidetracked with making a career, we’ve all made these mistakes and I say it through my own experience people say I spoil my wife and I tell them well if I don’t someone else will. I tell my guys to make sure they share with their wives in the growth and stay positive. Before I got married I made an agreement with my wife, I will not develop a hobby that I do on Sundays so the one free day I get,  I will not be doing that,  instead of giving away that day and time, that’s for you. I think when people can really learn and create a better balance on making spouses feel more important, you’ll be amazed what they’ll do positively. For example, I told my wife not to ask me when I’ll be home but I’ll be home as soon as I can but If I tell her the time she’ll be waiting for me and counting the minutes I’m late. It takes a lot of discipline to make sure you keep that balance. There will always be time for sacrifices especially with time. Chase it but make sure you have that time allocation. It’s not the amount of time but the impact of time.

The more time we spend connecting with our people, the better equipped they are. If we can help them get through personal stuff, we can help them get better.

Website: https://www.linearroofing.com and https://www.linearroofing.com/linearsolar/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linear_roofing/ and https://www.instagram.com/linearsolar/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/linear-roofing

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linearroofing/ and Facebook.com/Linearsolar

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