Dylan Stephens started RAWSO Constructors in 2012, with just a pickup truck, a skid steer, and a whole lot of motivation. After he graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2009 with a degree in concrete management, he worked as a foreman for a major road and highway contractor. Dylan quickly grew tired of the old-school, ‘profits over people’ approach that is so pervasive in the construction industry, which led him to set out on his own.
When RAWSO first started, Dylan took any job he could get, often doing residential projects like grading driveways and yards. However, he always aspired to build more meaningful projects that have a greater impact on the community.
In pursuit of this goal, he quickly worked his way up to bidding on small commercial projects, and before long, he had RAWSO working on multi-family apartment complexes and large road projects. By tackling these more expansive projects, RAWSO was able to help build a strong foundation that allows people to live better lives, day in and day out.
Dylan and his wife have three children — Rawley, Sophi, and Turner, whose names were the basis for the name RAWSO Constructors. Spending time at home with his family is the most important thing in his life, but he also loves to read, especially books about entrepreneurship and personal growth.
His fitness is important to him as well, as he often wakes up before 4am to work out. Dylan says there are many similarities between fitness and entrepreneurship. With either one, there is no finish line — the moment you stop progressing, you’re falling behind.
Dylan compares the company culture at RAWSO to a sports team. Just like on a football team, we may all play different positions, but we’re all on the same side, striving for a common goal. With this in mind, Dylan empowers RAWSO’s people to make their own decisions, and he also makes sure all of his employees know they can call him at any time if they need help.
Because he prioritizes his own family so much, Dylan also believes in creating a positive, family-first culture for his employees. He strongly believes in giving his people as many weekends off as possible, because spending quality time with their families gives them a chance to charge their batteries and come back on Monday ready to help build America.
“You can choose to see the best or see the worst in any situation,” he says. “I choose to see the best.”