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January 12, 1990 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I BUSINESS I

Wings of Success

Continued from preceding page

Ross at his desk at the IFL Group: "When you're in trouble, go to work."

FINAL CLEARANCE SALE
LAST CHANCE TO SAVE!

George Guldalian is
moving and must clear out his store.
Take advantage of special savings!

GOLD JEWELRY 65% OFF

.

DIAMOND AND COLORED STONE JEWELRY 50% OFF
ALL PEARLS AND WATCHES 50% OFF
JANUARY 12th and 13th ONLY!

Act now for the best selection

BLOOMFIELD
JEWELERS

60

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 1990

3596 W. Maple (at Lahser) in Birmingham
(in the Village Knoll shopping center)

642-2293

when he was a boy, the
closest he came to planes
was watching them fly
overhead, miles away.
Ross was born in Detroit,
the son of a salesman and a
mother who supported the
Communist Party.
Ross' father died a poor
man, but he also passed this
bit of wisdom on to his sons:
"When you're in trouble, go
to work; 99 percent of the
time your trouble is money,
so you might as well go right
to work."
Ross says he has kept that
advice in mind since he
started out on his own —
when he was 13.
Young Alan Ross wanted
to grow up and be liked, he
says. He also wanted adven-
ture. So at 13, he ran away
to New Orleans. In the 10th
grade, he dropped out of
school.
Ross found his first job
selling pots and pans out of
the back of a truck. Soon
thereafter, he had 100
salesmen working for him.
"I was in a hurry to get on
with my life," he says. "I
saw all my friends getting
jobs in the tool and dye busi-
ness. I didn't want that. I
wanted to see the world."
He got his chance when,
from 1954-1957, he served in
the Army. Several years
later, a friend asked him to
consider selling glass in

Europe. Ross, who says he
knew nothing about glass at
the time, accepted the
challenge.
Like his earlier pots-and-
pans business, Ross' new
venture became a quick
success. He exported
bakeware, established
marketing companies and
earned more than $1 million
annually. He says his
European success came from
adhering to the policy of
"selling people what they al-
ready want anyway."

Ross stayed in France from
1971-1980, but little re-
mains of his years abroad; he
gave most of the business
away.
One souvenir he kept from
those nine years is a poster
showing Ross and the glass.
It hangs in his office, just to
the left of the Truman-
signed bill.

Another is his ability to
read. Because of a learning
disability, Ross was unable
for many years to read. In
Europe, he took a speed-
reading course that turned
all that around. He began
devouring the classics; his
favorite was the consum-
mate capitalist, Ayn Rand.
Ross' latest project, the
airplane business, was born
of a tragedy rather than a
brainstorm. Resettling in
the United States, he learn-

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