Builtcast: Courtney Kounkel On Being An Entrepreneur In Construction

Courtney Kounkel has started not one, but two successful construction companies from the ground up. We talked with Courtney about the challenges and rewards of starting a successful construction company and her compelling career.

Being an entrepreneur and starting a successful construction company requires a leap of faith, one that not many are willing to take. The ones that do take that leap often times don’t end up achieving success. Afterall, Larry Silver said it best in his Builtcast episode: “The only business riskier than a construction firm is a restaurant.” But Courtney Kounkel is a little bit different. After achieving success in her first venture, she ultimately wanted to live and work by a specific set of values, so she made it happen and founded MONARCH with her business partner Eric Turner.

“The biggest challenge? Winning their first few projects.”


The biggest challenge? Winning their first few projects. Getting potential clients to trust a company with no background or prior work was tough. Also being prepared to not get a paycheck for a good while – as with any other business. But those are obstacles you can overcome with determination, focus, and the willingness to give it your all to make the business succeed.

And how about the state of the construction industry? “I’ll tell you, starting a company now, when we’re not in a recession and things are really good, there’s different but as many benefits … there’s a lot more opportunity out there,” Courtney told us.

We wanted to talk with Courtney because we love talking to entrepreneurs in construction, especially ones with her attitude. We also like Courtney’s values. She represents so many of the things that make the construction industry great: honesty, philanthropy, willingness to take on risk, hard work, and pure grit. We were delighted to talk with her and think you’ll find the same inspiration in her story that we did.

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