Christopher Linton is a highly successful business professional and entrepreneur. Born and raised in a small town in South Alabama, Linton was known widely for his athletic abilities and excelled in football and baseball. During his high school years, he was also praised for his success in academia and, following graduation, went on to obtain his bachelor of science degree and Juris doctorate. His time at university opened his eyes to the corporate world, and soon after, Mr. Linton found himself pursuing various opportunities in the business sector. Since then, he has established several successful companies and is currently the CEO of Lonestar Labor Management – a boutique employment agency specializing in poultry and food manufacturing based out of Houston, Texas. With a dedicated team of employees, Mr. Linton works diligently to provide staffing solutions for organizations across the continental U.S.
Where did the idea for Lonestar Labor Management come from?
The company I worked with previously had a somewhat similar model, so I took that idea and expanded upon it. Ultimately, I added some services that I thought the industry had an appetite for.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up, go to the gym, then get to the office. Back home, I usually walk the dog and work a little more in the evening, then I try to take some time to decompress, whether it be watching something on TV or reading before going back to bed. For me, the key to productivity is getting the majority of my professional responsibilities over with in the morning and then planning out the remainder of my day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I jump in and make it happen. I hate just talking. I’m the type that if we’re talking about it and I come up with an idea that we agree on, it’s time to execute it. The quicker, the better.
What’s one trend that excites you?
These larger companies seem to be looking more to external talent, whether they’re managing cost or labor shortages or cash flow. I believe there’s a lot of opportunity for companies like ours that serve other customers like an outsourced HR department.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Deal with things as they arise. Don’t leave them to linger and develop into bigger issues. As an entrepreneur you need to be a forward thinker and you need to navigate issues before they spread.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Slow down. Be where your feet are right now and enjoy that time instead of looking ahead because the time you’re in is a lot better than you think it is.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Mayonnaise is the most disgusting substance on the planet.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Try to surround yourself with people who are better than you. Don’t be the smartest person in the room. I always try to hire the best people I can find and be around the best people I can find because that’s where I believe you’re going to learn the most.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Be persistent but adaptable. We faced major obstacles during Covid with not being able to hire people because of the different things that were going on across the country at that time. We expanded our target areas that we were trying to hire people in and kept adapting that. That enabled us to hire people when others couldn’t at the time.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I opened a restaurant and depended on other people to manage it without me being there. That wasn’t a good way to manage it, it needed to be more hands on. The way I handled it was finding a person to give ownership to, so that they would have pride in it and run it like their own. They ended up turning it around.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Open an Airbnb in the right location for short-term vacation rentals. There’s a lot of cash flow there and you’ll be building equity into an asset.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A pair of On Cloud shoes. In the morning, I run a lot and do a lot of cardio and those shoes are very comfortable. I think it’s important to take care of yourself while under all this stress and those just help me to try to do that more.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use a software called Aviante. It’s an applicate tracking system that manages all of our candidates applying for jobs as well as the employees that we have out at different locations working. It makes keeping track of all that data in one place so much more accurate and efficient. You end up knowing a lot more information than you would otherwise, and it helps you make better decisions.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. He’s the best author I’ve ever read for self-improvement and awareness and this book touches on every aspect of your life. It’s a really amazing book.
What is your favorite quote?
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky.
- Never be the smartest person in the room.
- Execute ideas as quickly as possible.
- Persistency and adaptability are some of the best skills an entrepreneur can have.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.