Episode #3: The Big Gamble: Quitting Your Job and Going Out on Your Own with Cody Novini

Change Your Filter with Tall Paul

Key Insights

  1. Culture is the key to all successful organizations.
  2. Integrity (doing what is right) & providing honest value to your customer are core business principles required for success.
  3. Don’t get greedy – counting your money at the “blackjack” table

Cody Novini Change Your Filter Podcast

Beginning as a bodyguard, then transitioning to the military, all the way to settling upon entrepreneurship, Cody Novini has just about done it all! He credits his diverse background for his fast growth & business success. Cody is the owner of SoCal Airflow Pros, located in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and he has quite a story to share!

Getting into the HVAC Industry

Cody Novini began his career as a military mechanic working on F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft for the US Marine Core. He learned the technical aspects of his role and quickly found he had a knack for technology & repair. Like many, Cody left the military aspiring to make more money. He was fortunate to quickly land a job as an HVAC technician for Service Champions.

Service Champions was fun for Cody. It was motivating, he was pushing himself to the next level, and he was making good money. Being lazy was never an issue for Cody – he was always on time, always followed orders that were given, and was habitually disciplined! He credits much of his success in the industry to those three core disciplines.

Learning the Industry

While working in the HVAC industry, Cody started to notice what some of the competitive organizations within the industry were doing. They were operating in unethical ways: overselling, and underdelivering. These companies were lacking integrity. He saw peer technicians cutting corners, but notes, “that behavior caught up with most of them.”

Cody states the biggest issue he initially saw in the industry was a lack of proper education and training for HVAC service technicians. Although they had a passion for the work, and they wanted to do the right thing, they were just not as educated as they need to be. Many technicians were unintentionally skipping steps and cutting corners, which was ultimately a disservice to both the customer and the technician, and often caused future problems.

Cody quickly realized that the technicians with high ethics and integrity were the technicians that got the most referrals.  The unethical techs always seem to “crash & burn” via the growing online presence of review platforms like Yelp and Google.

The Rise to Success 

Seeing that poor ethics and low integrity were prevalent within the HVAC industry, Cody made a command decision to always be ethical and to serve each customer in the most honest way possible. In his first year at Service Champions, Cody was only making $50k/year.  But soon he started doubling his income, year over year, with consistency! He continued to work hard, develop strong lasting relationships, and learn as much as possible. 

After a few years, Cody noticed his employer had started making some changes that he didn’t really understand. Additionally, his favorite manager decided to leave the organization. Soon, Cody started losing some of his passion for the business.

Now that Cody is a business owner, he completely understands why certain changes were made by his old employer. He even called the owner of his previous company and explained how appreciative he was for all he learned while at the organization! Yet, those changes would soon lead Cody to go down another path.

Taking Some Time Off

With the birth of his daughter, Cody took a month off from his HVAC tech job. During this time, he hung out with family and had an amazing time. In hindsight, that month off with his family arguably became one of the best months of his life. While hanging out with friends & family, a friend told him about “counting cards” in blackjack, and recommended Cody try it, knowing Cody’s skills in mathematics.

Cody ordered a home kit, started watching videos, and practiced every day. He was methodical about learning card counting, not unlike his disciplined way of ensuring all his HVAC service visits had good results.  He was starting to get the hang of this gambling thing! Once confident enough, Cody eventually took his skills to the blackjack table and won $4,000 on his very first night of gambling. 

He then developed another important skill: Cody learned to walk away from the table while he was still profitable for the night. “When you get greedy, that’s when you begin to lose”, says Cody! Funny enough, blackjack is truly where Cody learned the valuable lesson to “never, ever be greedy.”

HVAC By Day, Gambler by Night

Cody continued to hit the casinos and win handsomely! By day, he was a service technician, and by night, a blackjack gambler. He was still working his butt off at his HVAC tech job. The HVAC industry was still home to low moral standards and unscrupulous ethics. Eventually, Cody made enough money to take some well-deserved time off and spend it with family. 

With no solid plans in place, Cody left his HVAC tech job, 

Fortunately, Cody was still doing great! He was winning at blackjack and was really enjoying spending time with his family. However, he began noticing that his friends were constantly calling him to fix their (and their friend’s) HVAC units!  Then, both his friends and his new customers began referring him to others because of his integrity and amazing skills. Because of the growing need for skilled HVAC technicians in his local community, Cody made the decision to re-enter the HVAC business.  He posted a subtle ad on Craigslist as a “veteran HVAC technician open for work” and the ad blew up.  The response was overwhelming! Cody quickly leased a truck, opened his new business, and got to work growing his very own HVAC company.

As the business took off, Cody had to begin hiring.  When he recruited and hired employees, he made sure everyone he hired had a high enough level of ethics and integrity to be a part of this family, his “work-family” that is.  

In doing this, Cody quickly created the type of supportive culture & environment that most employees want – yet never seem to get.  The company culture truly was that of a family.  Cody was even having training sessions in his living room and team dinners in his dining room.  He was able to develop that elusive culture that made every single employee understand that he (as the business owner) would always be there for them!  As you can probably imagine, this culture was the secret ingredient that made Cody’s business so successful! 

What Makes the Culture

Maintaining a powerful and ethical company culture has always been Cody’s core focus. His team understands that they can go to Cody, or anyone on the team, for anything regardless of whether the issue is business-related or personal in nature. Cody’s employees know they have his love and support, and the organization will always be committed to a healthy work-life balance for everyone.  His employees come from different walks of life.  Thanks to Cody, everyone at his company is treated fairly, and everyone happily accepts & respects one another, consistently! 

Cody credits his dedication for “unwavering culture standards” to his background & work experience. Serving in every role within the HVAC business, (sales, service, and even the call center) has contributed greatly to his success according to Cody! His employees know that he understands every issue they must face on a daily basis. 

Cody’s employees feel appreciated and they know they are respected. Cody continues to invest in his employees’ success.  He treats his people like family, sets fair expectations, and benevolently holds them accountable. Cody loves seeing his employees help and motivate each other.

Cody provides personal finance classes, leadership classes, family dynamics classes, and even plumbing classes to help his employees be successful both at work and at home.  Cody’s employees are truly like family to him, and he attributes his profound success to this unique culture he has worked so hard to develop and maintain.

What the Future Holds

Cody’s company has experienced continuous growth in a healthy and organic way. He ensures the company’s powerful growth never outruns the company’s ability to maintain high customer service standards. Cody will not tolerate growth that may compromise his employee’s work/life balance. Although his team is significantly bigger than when he started, his company culture remains the same. Everyone takes care of each other, just like a healthy family! 

Cody looks forward to growing his company further. He hopes other business owners will adopt what he’s doing culturally, not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good business.  Cody desperately wants business owners to understand that they can do the right thing & still be successful.  

“Doing what is right and “being successful” are not mutually exclusive! In fact, “doing the right thing” allows every business to be more successful!

Cody wants to show the world not only what a great HVAC culture looks like, he wants to show the world what every great company/corporate culture should look like.

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Episode #3: The Big Gamble: Quitting Your Job and Going Out on Your Own with Cody Novini

Change Your Filter with Tall Paul

Key Insights

  1. Culture is the key to all successful organizations.
  2. Integrity (doing what is right) & providing honest value to your customer are core business principles required for success.
  3. Don’t get greedy – counting your money at the “blackjack” table

Cody Novini Change Your Filter Podcast

Beginning as a bodyguard, then transitioning to the military, all the way to settling upon entrepreneurship, Cody Novini has just about done it all! He credits his diverse background for his fast growth & business success. Cody is the owner of SoCal Airflow Pros, located in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and he has quite a story to share!

Getting into the HVAC Industry

Cody Novini began his career as a military mechanic working on F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft for the US Marine Core. He learned the technical aspects of his role and quickly found he had a knack for technology & repair. Like many, Cody left the military aspiring to make more money. He was fortunate to quickly land a job as an HVAC technician for Service Champions.

Service Champions was fun for Cody. It was motivating, he was pushing himself to the next level, and he was making good money. Being lazy was never an issue for Cody – he was always on time, always followed orders that were given, and was habitually disciplined! He credits much of his success in the industry to those three core disciplines.

Learning the Industry

While working in the HVAC industry, Cody started to notice what some of the competitive organizations within the industry were doing. They were operating in unethical ways: overselling, and underdelivering. These companies were lacking integrity. He saw peer technicians cutting corners, but notes, “that behavior caught up with most of them.”

Cody states the biggest issue he initially saw in the industry was a lack of proper education and training for HVAC service technicians. Although they had a passion for the work, and they wanted to do the right thing, they were just not as educated as they need to be. Many technicians were unintentionally skipping steps and cutting corners, which was ultimately a disservice to both the customer and the technician, and often caused future problems.

Cody quickly realized that the technicians with high ethics and integrity were the technicians that got the most referrals.  The unethical techs always seem to “crash & burn” via the growing online presence of review platforms like Yelp and Google.

The Rise to Success 

Seeing that poor ethics and low integrity were prevalent within the HVAC industry, Cody made a command decision to always be ethical and to serve each customer in the most honest way possible. In his first year at Service Champions, Cody was only making $50k/year.  But soon he started doubling his income, year over year, with consistency! He continued to work hard, develop strong lasting relationships, and learn as much as possible. 

After a few years, Cody noticed his employer had started making some changes that he didn’t really understand. Additionally, his favorite manager decided to leave the organization. Soon, Cody started losing some of his passion for the business.

Now that Cody is a business owner, he completely understands why certain changes were made by his old employer. He even called the owner of his previous company and explained how appreciative he was for all he learned while at the organization! Yet, those changes would soon lead Cody to go down another path.

Taking Some Time Off

With the birth of his daughter, Cody took a month off from his HVAC tech job. During this time, he hung out with family and had an amazing time. In hindsight, that month off with his family arguably became one of the best months of his life. While hanging out with friends & family, a friend told him about “counting cards” in blackjack, and recommended Cody try it, knowing Cody’s skills in mathematics.

Cody ordered a home kit, started watching videos, and practiced every day. He was methodical about learning card counting, not unlike his disciplined way of ensuring all his HVAC service visits had good results.  He was starting to get the hang of this gambling thing! Once confident enough, Cody eventually took his skills to the blackjack table and won $4,000 on his very first night of gambling. 

He then developed another important skill: Cody learned to walk away from the table while he was still profitable for the night. “When you get greedy, that’s when you begin to lose”, says Cody! Funny enough, blackjack is truly where Cody learned the valuable lesson to “never, ever be greedy.”

HVAC By Day, Gambler by Night

Cody continued to hit the casinos and win handsomely! By day, he was a service technician, and by night, a blackjack gambler. He was still working his butt off at his HVAC tech job. The HVAC industry was still home to low moral standards and unscrupulous ethics. Eventually, Cody made enough money to take some well-deserved time off and spend it with family. 

With no solid plans in place, Cody left his HVAC tech job, 

Fortunately, Cody was still doing great! He was winning at blackjack and was really enjoying spending time with his family. However, he began noticing that his friends were constantly calling him to fix their (and their friend’s) HVAC units!  Then, both his friends and his new customers began referring him to others because of his integrity and amazing skills. Because of the growing need for skilled HVAC technicians in his local community, Cody made the decision to re-enter the HVAC business.  He posted a subtle ad on Craigslist as a “veteran HVAC technician open for work” and the ad blew up.  The response was overwhelming! Cody quickly leased a truck, opened his new business, and got to work growing his very own HVAC company.

As the business took off, Cody had to begin hiring.  When he recruited and hired employees, he made sure everyone he hired had a high enough level of ethics and integrity to be a part of this family, his “work-family” that is.  

In doing this, Cody quickly created the type of supportive culture & environment that most employees want – yet never seem to get.  The company culture truly was that of a family.  Cody was even having training sessions in his living room and team dinners in his dining room.  He was able to develop that elusive culture that made every single employee understand that he (as the business owner) would always be there for them!  As you can probably imagine, this culture was the secret ingredient that made Cody’s business so successful! 

What Makes the Culture

Maintaining a powerful and ethical company culture has always been Cody’s core focus. His team understands that they can go to Cody, or anyone on the team, for anything regardless of whether the issue is business-related or personal in nature. Cody’s employees know they have his love and support, and the organization will always be committed to a healthy work-life balance for everyone.  His employees come from different walks of life.  Thanks to Cody, everyone at his company is treated fairly, and everyone happily accepts & respects one another, consistently! 

Cody credits his dedication for “unwavering culture standards” to his background & work experience. Serving in every role within the HVAC business, (sales, service, and even the call center) has contributed greatly to his success according to Cody! His employees know that he understands every issue they must face on a daily basis. 

Cody’s employees feel appreciated and they know they are respected. Cody continues to invest in his employees’ success.  He treats his people like family, sets fair expectations, and benevolently holds them accountable. Cody loves seeing his employees help and motivate each other.

Cody provides personal finance classes, leadership classes, family dynamics classes, and even plumbing classes to help his employees be successful both at work and at home.  Cody’s employees are truly like family to him, and he attributes his profound success to this unique culture he has worked so hard to develop and maintain.

What the Future Holds

Cody’s company has experienced continuous growth in a healthy and organic way. He ensures the company’s powerful growth never outruns the company’s ability to maintain high customer service standards. Cody will not tolerate growth that may compromise his employee’s work/life balance. Although his team is significantly bigger than when he started, his company culture remains the same. Everyone takes care of each other, just like a healthy family! 

Cody looks forward to growing his company further. He hopes other business owners will adopt what he’s doing culturally, not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good business.  Cody desperately wants business owners to understand that they can do the right thing & still be successful.  

“Doing what is right and “being successful” are not mutually exclusive! In fact, “doing the right thing” allows every business to be more successful!

Cody wants to show the world not only what a great HVAC culture looks like, he wants to show the world what every great company/corporate culture should look like.

TRUSTED BY HUNDREDS OF CONTRACTORS

“It’s really easy to set up. I had an online store and was selling products within 48 hours of talking to these guys.”

Jeff K, Ductworks Heating & Air Conditioning

“The Contractor Commerce team has been easy to work with and has even customized a few things to fit the needs of my business!”

Chris H, Dick Hill and Sons Heating and Cooling

“We have several subscription customers already. This just means recurring revenue for us with no additional overhead or managing.”

Jason C, Advent Air Conditioning

WHAT CONTRACTORS ARE SAYING

“The fact is, consumers would rather shop online than in person. If you don’t build an e-commerce presence, you won’t have the opportunity. Now is the time.”

Lou Hobaica, Hobaica Services

“It was scary-easy to get set up. It’s plug and play. I drive people to the site, and I collect on the backend. Contractor Commerce takes the order, processes the order, and ships it…any HVAC company would be crazy not to start an online store with Contractor Commerce.”

Bob Reilly, Courtney's Heating & Cooling

“Working with the Contractor Commerce team is simple. It’s great. They’re understanding, and they will do anything possible in their power to accommodate your needs. It’s an added service for us…it’s good for our customers”

Jeremy Shellabarger, Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning

“Having our website store powered by Contractor Commerce gives us a unique competitive advantage in our market. Our friends in the industry look at our website and say, ‘Wow! That’s super cool. I don’t know why my company isn’t doing this.”

Lizeth Melisa, Comfort Pro

“Having an online store from Contractor Commerce is great for our customers! It is convenient and easy for customers to order filters. It saves time when they can go right to the website, place their order and have the filter delivered within a couple of days. Plus, the Contractor Commerce team is great to work with. They are very responsive and helpful and I know they really care about my success!”

Karen B, Liberty Comfort Systems

“It’s really easy to set up. I had an online store and was selling products within 48 hours of talking to these guys.”

Jeff K, Ductworks Heating & Air Conditioning

“The Contractor Commerce team has been easy to work with and has even customized a few things to fit the needs of my business!”

Chris H, Dick Hill and Sons Heating and Cooling

“We have several subscription customers already. This just means recurring revenue for us with no additional overhead or managing.”

Jason C, Advent Air Conditioning

HOW IT WORKS

PRICING

CONTACT US

HOW IT WORKS

PRICING

CONTACT US

By |2022-05-20T14:43:35+00:00May 20th, 2022|Podcast|Comments Off on Episode #3: The Big Gamble: Quitting Your Job and Going Out on Your Own with Cody Novini
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