Bryan Garvey

Be proactive. Stay out in front, it is always the best place to be.


Bryan F. Garvey is the founder and CEO of Corbet Design Build. He graduated Tarleton State University in 1997 with his degree in Business Management. Shortly after graduation, he put together a team of construction specialists. He began an entrepreneurial life that would continue to grow and develop within mid-market accounts.

As an entrepreneur, Bryan honed his skills and brought his team forward to expand his market. Ever vigilant and aware of his industry, he observed a lack of certain skills that were unavailable to mid-market clients. Bryan found his niche, and Corbet Design Build was formed.

He partnered with a range of clients such as franchisees, developers, architects, designers, and individual owners to be able to create and manage virtually any project that was presented to the firm.

Corbet Design Build is a boutique building management service. They believe in building with integrity and providing a great customer experience.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Corbet was created to meet the needs of middle market real estate developers. These individuals and companies have high standards of excellence regarding the quality of their projects and often have a complex series of factors coming into play as they are planning a build. However, they often prefer a single point of contact and the personal, boutique-style service of a smaller firm. Corbet Design + Build is the best of both worlds.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Our workday varies greatly from day to day, often coinciding with the different phases of our particular projects. There is no set routine. One week, our focus could be working on concept and design and the next, it is the on-site work. I spend most of my time meeting with people for a variety of reasons. The key is to be constantly adaptable. In this industry, if you are not able to adapt to changing conditions, you will not be able to keep up.

How do you bring ideas to life?

My work is very flat, meaning that it takes a lot of people with a wide variety of skills to make ideas come to life. Buildings are complex and in order to build a structure that has any integrity to it, each element must be completed, exactly to specification. To maintain this standard of excellence, it’s my job is to help people buy into the project. One of the ways that we do this is by keeping everyone informed, so we are all on the same page. Everyone contributes to ideas and can own their part of the project. When people are personally invested in the success of a build, that’s when the concept becomes reality.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One aspect of the construction industry that is shifting is the delivery system. We are really seeing the Design + Build style of construction management gain footing. For context, traditional construction management is very compartmentalized and works like a relay race. Each party tags the next into play when they have completed their portion. Design + Build, generally speaking, is very collaborative and works more like a machine. Each cog turns the next so they all spin at the same time. While we tailor our management style to meet our client’s individual needs, the rise of Design + Build brings exciting opportunities to streamline the building process as well as allow for creative partnerships.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Working out and staying in shape is truly important. Staying fit and active requires discipline and structure that positively influences the rest of your week. It sets the tone for your day and keeps you focused. It also keeps you healthy enough to do the things that are important to you, so it’s a solid strategy for success. I noticed that if I break my routine; my productivity goes down, so I make working out and staying in shape a priority.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would advise anyone to keep a healthy perspective. Most problems that come at you are not nearly as bad as you think and not worth losing sleep over. Everything has a solution as long as you take a proactive approach. Just step back and get a good look at the situation. A well-thought-out plan is the best plan.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The way that I run Corbet Design Build is very unique. I make sure that everyone is on the same page and the same timeline. Before we start the day, we are all in tune and in consensus. That is one of the benefits of a smaller team. It does not take much time out of our day to rally around the conference table and fill everyone in on the latest project developments, so we are able to be as streamlined and effective as possible.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Measure twice, cut once! That phrase suites me with everything in life.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

The best strategy is to have a high standard of excellence and treat everyone just like you would want to be treated. Those two things will take you far. For example, communicate honestly, often and consistently. Put in the work to be prepared for meetings and have the experience to make wise decisions. These are things you would hope someone would do for you, so do them for your clients, your staff, and your business partners. Most importantly, you will be able to look back on the things you have done and know that they were done with integrity.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We have had a few disruptions in the hiring process. We have started giving personality tests during the interview process. We found that to be a good solution to keep employees with our workflow.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Family-friendly, ride-sharing for kid’s carpool. Parents can create a list of approved drivers (family and friends), who post their routes for the day. If your kids’ route is on their way, you can send the driver a pick-up or drop-off request. It would be a way to simplify the carpool process that parents are already organizing.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Time with family is irreplaceable. It is always money well spent on whatever we choose to do together, whether it’s a great meal or a family adventure. At the end of the day, all the success and gains I make are meant to be spent on my family and my time with them. If I cannot prioritize my time with my family, none of my professional success matters.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Every Good Endeavor” by Tim Keller. I have read it a few times and every single time, I learn something new and valuable. He really gets to the core of why we work, which when something takes up so much of your life, it’s vital to know the “why” behind it. He also does a really great job of defining the goals of our work and what we should be seeking to accomplish in the big picture. It keeps my eye on the prize and helps me prioritize my day with the end goal in mind. As I learn and grow as a person, I see from a new perspective.

What is your favorite quote?

“Attack is the best form of defense.” In other words, be proactive. Stay out in front, it is always the best place to be.

Key learnings:

• Keep a proactive approach at all times
• Keep a clear consensus with staff
• Stay healthy and fit
• Enjoy family at every opportunity