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Give Credit, Where Credit is Due

Aug. 26, 2020
Rodney Koop offers thanks to a multitude of people who have helped him or influenced his life.

I recently read a portion of a book a friend of mine wrote, and first, I commend anyone for actually writing and getting a book published. It is a tremendous task, especially the first time. Anyway, in his book, he quotes me many times, yet he does not credit me even one time. I was a little miffed at first, but then, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate me. But it got me to thinking; how many times have I used something I learned from someone else yet did not give them credit? Well, it’s time I did. The problem is that I will not remember everyone who has helped me, and I doubt any of you reading this can remember everyone who has helped you or influenced your life.

So many have meant so much, and without your help, I would likely be farther behind on my path.

I’m going to start with the most obvious to many of you, and that is Joe Crisara. This man has been a major influence in my life and the lives of hundreds of contractors and technicians. Now,  Joe will be the first to tell you that he did not invent everything he teaches; he too learned from others, but he did do the work of putting together his information in an amazing seminar called “Total Immersion,” and he has one of the best subscription websites that I know of. I attended his Total Immersion Seminar and then immediately sent my son to the next one he held. I attended in Chicago over 10 years ago, and my son attended in Orlando within a month or two.

When I first met Joe, we shared a lot of information; he used some of my ideas and I used some of his. But when I got the idea to create a menu pricing system that we called “The New Flat Rate,” I immediately called Joe to ask if he would like to collaborate with me on the project. I wanted to do it with him; after all, I looked to him as the expert. He loved my idea but said, “I would like to help with this, but I am too busy; however, if you need any help, call me anytime.” I did need help, and I called Joe several times over the next year. When I had my first 65-page HVAC Menu Pricing System, I flew out to Los Angeles and presented Joe with the first book. He was impressed and told me what a great job we had done. Joe and I have been friends for many years, but he may feel that I have profited off his help. Of course, I have. His and others. We all profit from others’ help. And on that note, I say thank you, Joe Crisara, for your help and all you have done for so many.

Well, who’s next? Let me go a little faster. 

My dad for his, “Get your butt out of bed and get in the truck with your brothers.” I did send him an 8-page letter years later thanking him for that, so I guess we’re square, sort of. 

Nexstar. A great bunch of guys including Frank Blau, who sat down and personally gave me advice. I will say that I was not at a place to implement what Nexstar was teaching me in the late 90’s, but make no mistake I have only the highest respect for the entire outfit. 

Airtime 500. They have taken a lot of criticism and some from me, but I got the vision for my Direct-Targeted-Marketing program from what they at that time called Victory Village, and it has been a bedrock revelation and worth the enormous sum of money I spent with them. 

BDR. Barry Bennet’s consulting company gave me hope when I needed it, I think because I was extremely lucky to get a man by the name of Steven Stultz as my personal consultant. For 18 months, Steven brought me out of the miry clay. I still quote him, and as a matter of fact, quoted him just yesterday to my business partner. Steven taught me how to make money in three days anytime you are desperate. Nice to know. Thanks to Steven and the entire staff at BDR.

Service Roundtable: here I have to first thank Matt Michel, David Heimer, and Liz Patrick. The rest of the team are all very great, but these three have always been there for me and put out so much information. I think I would say, “They are the Wikipedia of the service industries.” Also, the chat forum was hugely responsible for me being able to learn and grow as a contractor and later as the founder of The New Flat Rate, Inc. Our first beta testers in eight states came directly from Service Roundtable members. And today with hundreds of members, I dare say many of them are Service Roundtable or Service Nation Alliance members. Definitely a classy outfit.

Yes, this could be 100 times longer, but how about starting your list? Who helped you? Let's all give credit, where credit is due.

Comfort Institute. Brendon and Ken always treated me with the utmost respect. They shared information and opened my eyes to the opportunities in homes and businesses. I would say that I can attribute over $2 million dollars of revenue as a contractor just to one or two statements they made. The first one was this, by Ken Summers: “If you do not own a duct cleaner, then what do you say when someone calls for duct cleaning?” This changed my perspective on my business. And the second was by Ray Dicks, the man who finally convinced me to invest in Comfort Institute and who said, “Rodney, did you know you can charge $400 to $600 per ton for air duct renovations?” That statement almost took my breath away. At a time when I was struggling to make ends meet, he just tossed me several thousand dollars a week in high profit work. Within six months, my average ticket for IAQ work was $35,000, and it stayed there for 12 straight years. Comfort Institute had a big part in that. 

National Comfort Institute. Rob Faulk, Dominick Guarino, Jim Davis, and David Richardson are about the most honest, intelligent, non-pretentious men I know. They have been a powerful source of relevant information about building and equipment performance in the industry. They have had a great effect on not only me, but thousands of contractors, technicians, and personnel. I know I’m missing some at NCI, but my brain needs prodding. Most of the industry will never know what this company has done for all of us. I’m sure I only see just the tip of the iceberg myself. But I can never thank them enough. I always come away thinking, “these guys are smart.” I guess that’s a pretty good compliment for most men.

David Holt – in 2011, he looked me in the eye and said, “Rodney, stop looking for a partner; build it yourself!” One of the greatest business advice statements ever given.

Dr. Frank Corbo, who I’ll bet none of you have ever heard of, because he is nationally known in the chiropractic industry, but who, out of the kindness of his heart, took me under his wing in 2011 and completely reshaped my thinking about bringing ideas to fruition.

David Langston: for my first job as an electrician after I left my dad and moved five states away. David was the job superintendent for a large industrial electrical job in Dalton, Georgia. David took me under his wing and taught me electrical estimating, job planning, job organization, and how to manage employees. He is a big part of who I am today, but one thing he taught me: one day, an electrical code question came up on one of our jobs. David took out the code book and said, “When there is a question, let’s read the book.” He stopped what he was doing, slowed down, and we read it slowly. Then we read it some more. He told me, “Rodney, read the code until you understand the code.” A few years later, I was considered an expert in the National Electrical Code because I took his words seriously. I studied it many hours every week, and then taught it for 20 years. Thank you, David.

Speaking of the Electrical Code, I have to say that I consider Mike Holt to be the most influential man in America at giving electricians the desire and the willingness to learn the code. He is 100% my mentor in the NEC, and I have watched his tapes and read everything he wrote from 1988 on. I have referred young and old electricians to him for years. I moved out of the electrical trade for the most part by 2000, but still go back and learn from him when I need to.

My four brothers: Gary taught me that doing it right cannot possibly take too long, and that you can make up time by driving the service truck 80 miles an hour between jobs. Wayne taught me how to read basic schematics right off the box of a 3-way switch or motor starter. He would never know how many times people thought I was brilliant when all I did was read the box. My brother Paul taught me that raising a quote $100,000 over what your computer says the price should be is not always a bad thing. And David, my little brother, is probably busy writing a list of what he learned from me. Dave always had money. Oh, he wasn’t a contractor. 

My friends and sales trainers Charlie Greer and Drew Cameron.

I could list the many magazines and books I read over the years, this magazine, and their competitors. So many who printed my thoughts. And so much I learned reading their pages while taking coffee breaks.

And last but not in any way least, Jay Abraham, hailed as the most expensive business and marketing consultant in recent history who graciously spent over 20 days with me when I was developing my ideas. He told me very plainly that my ideas would never develop successfully without serious beta testing. He then taught me how to beta test. That changed my life and led to a $2 billion-dollar windfall for the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical industries.

Many of you know me as the founder of The New Flat Rate, an entirely new way to present your skilled expertise to your customers on service and sales calls. The success of this ideology has been phenomenal, but a founder is often only someone with a passion to find a way out of trouble, out of struggles, out of the merry-go-round of business frustration. I am a visionary who could not have gotten his ideas off the ground without a lot of help. The true foundation rests in the following:

My wife Karen, who has been by my side for 44 years after saying "for better or worse." I’ve always believed that a praying wife is my true #1 asset.

My daughter, Danielle, who believed that we could change the world for struggling contractors and who gave up a career and a year of salary to work 10-hour days building our dream. I have watched her rise from someone who believed she could become an entrepreneur, a leader, and an influencer to becoming a remarkable executive with amazing leadership skills.

My son, Matt, who, because of his struggles to find solutions for hurting contractors and because I so often threw him into the deep end of the business pool, had become what I believe to be one of the most brilliant business consultants in the industry today. History will prove me right. Many of you have and will go farther than I have ever dreamed. Matt is one that will do just that. I often say that I wrote the first menu; Matt wrote the next 3,000.

My daughter, Melody, who, upon finishing high school in 2009 said, I’m coming to work in your office on Monday, Dad. Can’t wait.” She became an expert on video production and marketing scripting. Her fingerprints are on everything we do. I can’t imagine what we would do without her in this day and age where everything is audio and visual.

Of course, our team of great employees now and over the years; what a great bunch whose skills and talents grew by leaps and bounds while they helped us overcome obstacles.

And you, whoever you are; if you are reading this and we have met, or maybe we know each other quite well. If my 65-year-old mind would give me your name while I write this, I would gladly mention you here.

So many have meant so much, and without your help, I would likely be farther behind on my path.

Yes, this could be 100 times longer, but how about starting your list? Who helped you?

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Thank you all.

Rodney Koop

(706)581-0622, anytime

[email protected] 

Pricing enthusiast Rodney Koop is the founder and CEO of The New Flat Rate, a home service menu-selling system designed to put profit directly into the hands of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC contractors. 
About the Author

Rodney Koop | Founder/CEO

Rodney Koop is the founder and CEO of The New Flat Rate. The New Flat Rate is described as the #1 Pricing System, providing menus for HVAC, plumbing and electrical flat rate service companies, that takes the pressure off the technicians and automatically does the selling.