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20 Questions - Posted July 28, 2017 9:20 a.m.
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Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Kirk Hill, Owner, Hill’s Sport Shop

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Either you want it or you don’t.

How do you use social media to grow your network? We work to promote special sales, new merchandise, and our knowledgeable staff through both Facebook and Instagram. Lately, we have used special online coupons and giveaways to take advantage of the advertising and marketing potential of those social media outlets.

How do you maintain balance? I think it is so important to find balance between work and home life. I am an avid golfer and enjoy that time spent outdoors in nature. I also love grilling out and relaxing beside my backyard pond and waterfall. Our Sunday night “family” dinners have become somewhat of a tradition, and my wife and I cherish that downtime with our family and friends.

What has been your wisest investment? The time spent with my employees – teaching them new skills or to master their own skillsets to accomplish the most in their own lives, both at work and outside of work.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? I have had countless jobs – from construction, to dishwashing, to ski school instructor to shop owner. Each one has taught me invaluable lessons on how to lead, how to follow, and how to best shape employees and your work environment to get the most out of a business.

What is the best part about your job? The customers that come through our doors each day are looking for adventure, and the common bond our staff and I share with them is our mutual love of the outdoors. It’s a fun business helping people get outside and enjoy their lives!

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? The mentorship I received throughout my lifetime from my father and the myriad of other bosses I have had has truly shaped me to be the man I am today. I hope that my mentorship is teaching my employees some of those same lessons.

Which living person do you most admire and why? That’s easy: my father, Gene Hill. He started Hill’s Sport Shop and stayed with it as it evolved over decades, always showing up early and staying late. He is the hardest worker I know. Away from work, his lifelong dedication to my mother and love for his family has taught me priceless life lessons.

What is your business philosophy? Always treat people fairly and work hard.

Which quality do you most value in an employee? Attitude. You can teach someone any task but you cannot teach someone to be nice!

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? I hate losing, and while that may not seem helpful at first glance, my competitive nature makes me work harder than the next guy to get the job done right.

What did you learn from your best boss? My best boss was my dad, Gene, who taught me that you can have fun, work hard, and that you always have to show up on time. Your worst? The worst was an old boss I had while working in Angel Fire constructing ski runs, and he taught me the importance of treating employees with dignity and fairness, because he did the exact opposite. I have truly never met anyone as mean!

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? I think Amarillo should place more value on our outward appearance to newcomers and travelers, whether it be through improving landscaping or updating the actual infrastructure of our streets and highways. Aesthetics are so vital in drawing business.

Most important tech tool: My IPad is always by my side, and is used for everything from work to downtime at home playing solitaire.

Best time management tool: I use my iPhone calendar and notes system to manage and set alerts for important daily tasks and to-do items.

I can’t live without my: wife, Trisha. She is my best friend and soul mate of 42 years. You could take everything else away from me, and as long as I have her by my side, we would make it.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: This town is made up of the hardest working people, generations of families who have helped establish this city and whose current generations are still working to shape Amarillo’s future.

Most unusual job or task: I spent a summer sandblasting headstones – by far the worst working conditions and job I have ever had, but also definitely the most unusual.

-- the AM Team

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