Sergey Taitler was born in Ukraine but emigrated to the United States with his family while he was still a baby. Growing up, his father ran his own roofing business. Sergey Taitler attended Indiana University and graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a BS in Finance and a concentration in real estate with a minor in history. Unfortunately, the year before his graduation, Sergey’s father passed away. Fresh out of university, at the age of 21, Sergey Taitler took over the family business, All American Roofing. The business name was changed to All American Exteriors Solutions to highlight the different services that the company now provided.
- Why did you decide to create your own business?
I went into my family business when my father passed away in 1997. While it was hard for me to take over the business that my father had built up, I knew that I wanted to continue his legacy and ensure that the business was successful.
- What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love to be able to look at a completed project and see the hard work and determination that my team and I put in be shown in the success and happiness of the client. Being able to directly see the impact of our work is a great reward that always makes the hard days easier to work through.
3. What keeps you motivated?
I am motivated by my family and a fear of failure. I am motivated by my family because my parents were my biggest role models and I want to set a good example for my children; like my father and mother did for me. I am motivated by a fear of failure because I want to ensure that each of my clients are happy with our work and that fear pushes me to always give 110% on every project.
4. How has your company grown from its early days to now?
The company has grown from its early days to now through the building and development of a great group of employees. Not only do employees complete the work, they also are the primary reason for the company’s success. Surrounding yourself with capable individuals leads to success and that is what I have achieved here.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from trying to grow the family legacy. Although my dad passed away while I was in university, I did not want his legacy, the company, to pass away with him. In a way, running the business has given me an even greater connection to my father as a person because I am helping to see his dreams come to fruition.
6. Who has been a role model to you and why?
My role models have been my mother and father. While growing up in America after emigrating from Ukraine, they both displayed a never give-up attitude. Their hard work, determination, and practical attitude were all important qualities that a successful person needs to have. Being taught these qualities throughout my life made putting them into practice as a manager much easier and I will never be able to fully thank my parents for these lessons.
7.. How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
It is hard to maintain a solid work life balance in my industry as often our projects require working 7 days a week. However, I have the advantage of having a loving wife who understands and is always there for me when I need it and help me to ensure that I am always able to spend some time with the family.
8. What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
The key traits that I possess that I believe make me a successful leader are my discipline, hard work, and empathy. I believe that these three skills are universal in nature and are important to have in every discipline.
9. What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
My suggestion would be to understand the job before going into it. It is not a 9-5 job where you work Mondays to Fridays and have weekends off. To be successful you need to be prepared to work 7 days a week as well as in the mornings, evenings, and inclement weather.
10. What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
The hardest obstacle I have overcome is gaining respect at a young age. Because I took over the family business straight out of university, I was only 21 and full time managing a successful company. It was very difficult for me to step into my father’s shoes and quickly gain the respect of the people both in the company and his connections.
11. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
One piece of advice that I have never forgotten is that the first step towards being successful is to go to work every day. While it might seem simple, often the simplest steps are the most important and sometimes the quickest to be overlooked.
12. What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishments are being married for 18 years and raising two children with my wife and being able to carry on my father’s legacy and ensure that All American Exterior Solutions continues to be a successful company.
13. Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I believe that I am defined by my friends and family outside of work. I have many good friends and a loving family and I believe that those are the most important merits of success in life.