Joanie interviews Brian Dersch, the president and CEO of Dersch Design & Engineering. Their mission is to design power and lighting systems for construction projects with an emphasis on renewable energy, customer service, and employing engineers that you can hold a conversation with. Brian is no exception!
We start out a little bit differently in this episode because Brian is able to articulate how his keen awareness of what was going on around him led to his career and business and success—a great lesson for all nerds! He also shares insights into how he developed his people skills, manages virtual teams,
Q: How did you get into your field of business?
“I noticed there weren’t a lot of people going into large-scale power engineering. I thought, ‘There’s a gap here and ten years from now, someone could end up inheriting it.’”
Q: How did you come to start up your own company?
“I got married and my wife had a dream of becoming a travelling nurse. She said, ‘You can either stay in San Diego and work or come with me.’ So, I quit my job…”
Q: How did you come to create a company where engineers can have conversations with customers?
“I am an engineer first, and a business person second. Positioning the business for success, that was learned from trial and error.”
Q: How did you develop your people skills?
“I thought I was shy in high school. I joined the speech team and theater and I broke out of my shell.”
“One of the skills I developed was public speaking skills. I needed more architects. I put together an educational presentation for architects to connect with them.”
Q: How do you connect with people?
“In networking events, I’m often the youngest person there. It can be very intimidating to show up in a room where everyone is in suits and have grey hair… All it takes is finding out what someone’s interests are.”
Words of Wisdom:
“In the small business atmosphere, there are no limits.”
“The more I practice, the luckier I get.” –Arnold Palmer
“Tell them the time, not how the clock was made.”
“You can’t beat face-to-face interaction.”