For the past few decades, the template for success has pretty much been the same: go to college, get a job, work your way to the top, and retire before sixty. The thing is, this is no longer the only way to success, and neither is it the best way. Ross Palfrey is living proof of that after the sales expert and entrepreneur closed over $20 million worth of products before even hitting the age of twenty one.
Growing up, life was pretty much your normal teenage template for Ross. “I was born in a small town of 50,000 people called Cornwall, Ontario, raised by a middle class family where we never necessarily struggled, but for sure we had never had much,” shares Palfrey. “My parents would always tell me to be good in school, find a career, so I could be successful and I really knew nothing else.” For a good portion of his life, Ross was highly convinced that this was the only way he would get ahead.
But then tragedy would strike when he was sixteen. One of his closest friends would end her life, which would emotionally scar Ross for a season that felt like it was going to last forever. But the grief opened Ross’ eyes to a strong reality. “The experience got me thinking about how long we all really have here,” he explains. “If I were to go today, what impact would I have made on the world? The answer was nothing.”
At that point, Ross Palfrey began a search for meaning and purpose. He worked with a coach who helped him discover that he wanted to take a less than conservative path to professional success. He tried entrepreneurship while still in highschool. He started an e-cigarette supplying business that would gross $68,000. At only seventeen, Ross took that business and closed it after a good run. He proceeded to start a vintage fashion apparel line, which he later sold for $10,000.
But after constant pressure from family and peers, he finally decided to put aside his entrepreneurship plans and go to college. He took up a business management and entrepreneurship course but would soon get frustrated with it. Mainly, the vexation came from the fact that he had learned everything his lecturers and professors talked about while running his business. When he turned nineteen, a friend invited him to work at a green company startup, which Ross agreed to, thinking it would be a good part-time gig to pass up the time and help him figure out his next move.
He got hired as an appointment setter and overwhelmed his superiors with his closing abilities. So sooner than he thought, he got promoted to a sales executive position. Within three months, he was helping open up an office in Ottawa and hiring a full sales team. Today, Ross leads over twenty-five sales executives for the company and has already closed over $20 million in sales and is still growing.Through the whole experience, Ross Palfrey learned that it’s highly possible to get ahead in life without having to follow the accepted norm. He hopes his story will inspire other people like him who want to challenge the status quo and find their own definition of a life well lived. Learn more about Ross by visiting his Instagram profile.