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Timothy Pessin on Leadership, Meditation, and Putting Your Best Foot Forward

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“It was in 2007, I took a leap of faith and started a business with a friend.”

Timothy Pessin was born and raised in Pleasantville, California. After graduating high school, he began work as a general laborer for a construction company called Cali York Construction. This job was the start of a full-time position when he turned eighteen, comprising residential remodels and additions all over East Bay.

Timothy eventually took a job working for a telecommunications company; however, wanting to gain more experience in broader electrical work, he went on to work for various electrical contractors.

Eventually, he began running his own jobs and crews. Timothy worked for one other General Contracting company called Shakey Construction building homes. Mr. Pessin said, “I wanted to be well-rounded in the trade and know a bit about everything, which is something I’m proud of.” 

“It was in 2007, I took a leap of faith and started a business with a friend.” He did everything from new construction, wiring houses, residential service calls, and remodels. He then expanded to doing electrical work for cell phone towers and completed several jobs for many customers. This opportunity ended up taking him to Maui and completing wire installations there with his business partner. It was then that Timothy circled back to the Bay Area and started to run projects on a much larger scale. This was so successful that he transitioned into doing work for Clear Wire, Bectal, and AT&T, as well as T-Mobile and Verizon.

By 2015, he had one hundred and fifty people completing various projects. At that point, Mr. Pessin started running the business as the President/CEO of his company E-Tech. He became a major player in telecommunications in the Bay Area which includes general and electrical construction. He also jumped into working with Clean Energy in 2015, building hydrogen fueling stations. “Those were some of my most complex jobs.” One project Timothy spoke passionately about was the work he did with Tesla, constructing charging stations throughout several states.

Mr. Pessin became the primary construction contractor in the Bay Area. In 2020, his company, E-Tech expanded to Vancouver, WA, and is thriving as one of the primary construction contractors in The Pacific Northwest. E-Tech then expanded a division to Austin, Texas, with Tesla as well. Timothy was able to double the size of E-Tech starting at 13 million to 17 million over the last five years. Tim Pessin was excited to say, “E-Tech is tracked to do 45 to 50 million, and I did that without raising any capital, just going to a local lending bank.”

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I had a desire to build things and enjoyed working with my hands as a young kid, probably beginning at about eight years of age. My dad was a podiatrist, and though very book smart, he had no mechanical ability at all. I was the one at an early age who began fixing things around the house. It was my grandpa that was a union electrician and I think I got his genes and the desire to build things with my hands.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Being approached by the California Government to work on projects on Clean Energy. This is a statewide funded electrical vehicle charging program focusing on clean energy. This is a pilot program and will be a model for the rest of the country. It is amazing to me that our company has enough notoriety that it has grown to this size. It is humbling and something that I am proud of.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

We get out of this life what we put into it. I am a firm believer that hard work and dedication pay off and success doesn’t happen overnight. You have to keep on driving and working harder than anyone else and good things usually happen. I am and have always been driven and ambitious. Life and business have their difficulties as well as everyday challenges, but you just have to push through.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on your leadership style? Can you share a story or an example of that?

I have become more spiritual in the last few years and read a book called The Soul of Leadership-Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness. In the book, there were so many stories of leading by example, having a routine, and being consistent. The more that I can get out and visit the job sites, I can create a culture of camaraderie with the team. The team needs to see the owner of the company. They don’t always see what we do on the back end of the business. We are very busy, but you still must interact with employees on all levels.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

E-Tech is very diverse. When I was growing up in the trade, I wanted to learn different aspects of the business, building cell phone towers, clean energy, directional drilling, and building charging stations. Companies had to hire contractors to do all of those things. E-Tech can do everything needed to be successful in-house. We now only utilize subcontractors just to be able to complete more jobs with efficiency. This sets us apart from other companies in the same field.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I don’t think everyone fits in the same box. People are born with different aptitudes and skill sets and the ability to do certain things. Find something you are passionate about and work as hard as you can and follow your passion. Trades are just as important as getting a higher education and in some cases, more important. There is a place for everyone, figure out what you like doing, find something that checks all the boxes and if you have that passion, it doesn’t feel like work. Some of the most successful people in the world don’t have a college degree, it all depends on what you are good at.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Always go with your gut instinct. There have been times where people have told me to do something and I didn’t follow my intuition. I listened to them and it didn’t work out. You should check your feelings as well, but if something feels off, it probably is.

As a business leader, can you please share a few steps we must take to truly create an inclusive, representative, and equitable society? Kindly share a story or example for each.

You must lead by example, have a routine, and be consistent. These are the best things you can do when it comes to being successful, starting a business, and having energy each day. In a class I took years ago, they looked at the wealthiest and most successful people and the one thing they all had in common was that at some point in their day, they would set an intention for the day through meditation.

Find something you are passionate about and have a routine in your life. Go to sleep/wake up at a consistent time, meditate, and work out. Stick to your routine. It will help you be sharp and bring your “A” game every day. E-Tech stays present in the community and we think about the needs of the community. You must find the best talent when hiring for your business. You need to look for employees who have all the different skill sets and wrap that into your business so it runs well and you then become a well-rounded company. “Three smart people in a room is better than one smart person in the room.”

What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

I always enjoyed building things and construction; however, as I have grown the company this has changed. My job has become less about building things and more about employee and customer relations, the financial aspect of it, and keeping the company and all its branches running smoothly. That is something that comes with the territory. I am now the boss and I have to do all of the things that come along with being a larger company.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

The success of becoming a well-known construction company and being able to complete various types of projects for all different customers to connect the world, build better cellular platforms while working on the leading edge with clean energy and clean vehicles. We do our part to build projects and to help people be better connected and improve the environment.

CEO of Penske Media Group. Experienced Content Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the newspaper industry. Spoken on stages around the globe - NYU, US Embassy, P&G Toronto, and much more.

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