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Sergey Taitler on Building a Family Legacy

Vero Shiko

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Sergey Taitler

Sergey Taitler was born in Ukraine. In 1979, he and his family emigrated to the United States when he was still a baby.

Sergey attended Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Finance with a concentration in Real Estate and a minor in History. The year before he graduated from university, his father passed away, leaving behind the family business, then called All American Roofing.

In 1998, newly graduated Sergey Taitler, then only 21, took over the family business. He continued to build up the company, which he eventually renamed to become All American Exterior Solutions due to the expansion of services they now provide. Sergey Taitler currently acts as a general manager and continues to build on his family legacy. All American Exterior Solutions is located in Lake Zurich, Illinois.

 Why did you decide to create your own business and what has it meant to you?

 When my father passed away, I knew I had to take over what he had built and continued his legacy. I’m proud of what he and I collectively created with our staff. The company is now called All American Exterior Solutions to highlight the different services we offer. I am proud of how far we’ve come.

 What is the biggest lesson you have learned managing your business and leading your team?

 I have learned that in a lot of ways, you learn as you go when it comes to managing a business. Even when people are true-born entrepreneurs, you aren’t born knowing how to run a business. Even if you have experienced business owners to mentor you, you won’t know what you’re in for until you actually start and rub your business.

Who has been your biggest role model in your life and why?

 It may sound like a cliché, but my father was a great role model for me. When my family and I emigrated from Ukraine, my father went after the American dream. He opened his own business and ran it until his death. Without him, the business wouldn’t exist and it wouldn’t be what it is today.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance running a business and having a family?

 In some regard, I think the concept of a work-life balance is really hard to achieve. With my job and industry, for instance, there really is not a lot of off-time. You have clients that have emergency jobs that need to get done and you can’t just throw them off to the side. As a business owner; however, I am really good at knowing when I need to put in the extra time and knowing when I can take a step back so that I can avoid burning out. I think it’s about knowing when you need to buckle down and work extra hard and knowing when you can call it a day to get home for dinner with your family so you don’t work yourself to the ground. There are on times and off times and knowing the difference will help maintain a more equal balance.

 What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

 I would say grieving my father’s death while also becoming a business owner at 21. Both were difficult and large adjustments.

What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?

 Plans change, no matter how much you try to plan for the future. But it is important to realize that things may change and you need to be ready to pivot at any given time. This really became true for me when I was pursuing a degree in finance and ended up taking over my family’s business when my father passed away. While I do not regret the choice I made, I had not planned to make that decision. So, anticipating changes is important.

 Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?

 As I said, I believe that plans change but at the moment I’m hoping to continue to scale the business. I want to continue to be able to expand on the services we already offer.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

I hope that All American Exterior Solutions continues to stay in the family. I took over my father’s legacy and I hope that someone in the family takes over mine as well. With any luck, the company will withstand all obstacles and be around for a long time. I also must say it is exciting to be able to drive past a house or commercial building and know that our company contributed to the project. It is work that is actually visible within the community and that is a powerful thing.

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