Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lindsay Fox

I remember adding a bunch of business folks at once. Sidney Myer may have been the first of them. Although he might be a lone wolf, and the other business people could come later.

Is Lindsay Fox a business person, or not?

Let's go see......

He IS business.

Lord Wiki says he's the 10th richest person in Australia or New Zealand.

Wait. Was he the one fighting with Kate Baillieu? Okay. Yeah. I just looked back at my blog entry on her. I'm embarrassed I didn't recognize his name.


Baby Lindsay was born in Sydney, on 19 April 1937. Lord Wiki doesn't have much to say about his childhood. He skips ahead to his early adult years. Fox played football. He played for the Ballarat football league, and then the Victorian Football League. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Now just close your eyes and imagine that right here I've written paragraphs upon paragraphs filled with brilliant sport information and insight.

If we use our imaginations, we can ALL be happy.

Lord Wiki's information about Fox is a bit jumbled. I have to try and get this straight, because it's not in chronological order.

First things first.....In 1956, he started his business. It was called LinFox. That's a simple and cute name, but not exactly creative.

Fox seems a bit greedy, or maybe there's a sense of entitlement? He demands a lot from the government. In the 1990's, he tried to claim the public beach in front of his house as his own private helicopter pad. The government said no, no, no. But Lord Wiki says they let him land his helicopter elsewhere on crown land.

He bought Luna Park in 2005. I wonder if he still owns it.

His 70th birthday party had a price tag of $250,000. The venue used was the Sydney Opera House. Wow. I wonder how much it costs to rent that place out? Well, Fox tried to make the rental price tax deductible. The government said no.

Fox doesn't sound as wonderful as Sidney Myer....in terms of generosity. But Lord Wiki does list some honors he has received. He's gotten those Order of Australia Awards that almost every famous Australian gets. (Okay, maybe that's not true....but it SEEMS true sometimes) And part of the reason Fox got the award was his philanthropy. So maybe he is giving, and Lord Wiki doesn't feel like talking about it much.

I'm now looking at Opera House venue opportunities. I'll be surprised if they provide price information. No, I don't see any. You have to call them for more information. I'm guessing it would be pretty expensive.

Forbes has an entry on Fox. He's ranked as billionaire #701. He's advanced. In 2008, he was billionaire #707.

His net-worth is one billion dollars.

He's married, and has five children.

His business is in shipping, and it started with one truck transporting soft drinks. Well, that's a pretty impressive growth there. His company today consists of five thousand trucks, twenty million square feet of warehousing, two airports, and a bunch of vehicles.

Oh well. Cool. So? I have a nice collection of polished gemstones. They're very colorful.

This YMCA site talks about some good Fox has tried to do. What he wanted was to find employment for people released from juvenile detention. I admire that, because I can imagine it's hard for such folks to find employment. Fox's involvement with the program came after his son died. This article is from 2006. I'm not sure if the program was successful or not.

Here's an ABC Lateline interview from 2006. It's not to interesting to me. I can't say I understood it fully. But I think it's basically about buying...acquiring more businesses.

Here's another ABC interview. This one is from 2004. Fox says, Mark Twain probably summed it up pretty well when he said, "The harder you work, the luckier you become."

I totally disagree with that. I think lots of people work VERY hard, and they live in poverty. See, this is when wealthy people annoy me. They get this idea that the only reason they are so successful is that they worked hard and earned it. They refuse to believe that luck and/or connections to the right people helped them at all. They believe they did it all themselves. And therefore, anyone who is not successful is that way because they're lazy. I think this is why people like that have a sense of entitlement. I worked hard, so I deserve special privileges.

Fox says at one point he lived in a boarding house on Johnson Street in Fitzroy. I have to find it on the map. I love maps.

Okay. I see it. Well, I don't see their boarding house, but I do see the street. Streetview isn't working well for me though.

Fox's mom was a traditional housewife. His dad was a truck driver, and sold beer on the weekends to supplement his income.

He talks about the nostalgic past...neighbors all knew each other and helped each other out. My childhood neighborhoods in Madison and St. Louis were like that. We knew our neighbors. We were free to run around and play. When we moved to Atlanta, it was less like that.  And when we moved to Nashville, our relationship to our neighbors became even more minimal. I don't know if the differences were due to neighborhood differences, or if times were already changing.

I like what Fox says here: Working on people, that you develop a relationship rather than this plastic thing called networking. Real-life aspects of people. True friendship.

I am very disturbed on how the internet has created a new definition of friendship. People are NOT my friends because they added me to their Facebook or MySpace page. I joined yet another new site yesterday, and already I have people adding me as a "friend". How can they be my friends? I don't even know them.

I do strongly believe you can have friendships on the Internet. The way I personally divide friends and acquaintances is this: Internet FRIENDS are people I've exchanged several emails with. We've had private discussions outside the public areas. I had one acquaintance who would comment on my blog, and I commented on hers. Then one day, she wrote me an email about something I wrote on my blog. We started emailing back and forth. After a few long emails back and forth, I considered her to be my friend.

Maybe I need that one on one interaction to consider someone a friend. Do most people feel differently? I do have friends now who I rarely talk to privately. But since we wrote to each other in the past, I still have that special friend love for them.

I should move on......

Fox did some ice-skating in his life, when he was about twelve. That's cool.

Fox is very positive when speaking about his father, mother, wife, etc. In a way, he's too positive...like he's trying to hide or deny something. Or maybe I'm just being too negative. I don't know.

Fox claims he's never had a beer in his life. Should I believe that? I've never had a beer in my life, so maybe it's the same for him. He does drink Vodka though, but not often. He's not a big-drinker. He says it's because he saw his mother and father fight when they drank. Ah okay....so it's not all positive.

He's a school drop out. He did high school for only eighteen months. I like hearing stories of successful drop outs.

Fox says, My education, I guess, has really come through living experiences, and understanding those things which I could never seem to pick up in the classroom.

Amen to that!

He lied as a teenager to get his truck license when he was sixteen. He pretended to be nineteen. Later he tried to correct it, but the licensing folks wouldn't accept his true age. Maybe they didn't want to admit that they had been fooled.

Fox doesn't like networking. He says, You ring me and I'll do something for you." Well, I don't want to hear from somebody that I haven't heard from for 10 or 20 years and automatically respond to do something they request.

Yeah. I don't like that either. I hate feeling used. I hate when you think someone is truly interested in you as a friend, but then you realize they just wanted to know you because of who you know....or because they want a donation from you. Although maybe I'd prefer the person who comes forward and asks for a favor after twenty years, than the one who fakes being my friend so I'll give them something.

But I guess all this networking is part of life. Maybe that's why I'm not very successful. I'm not that good at it. Even in my Sims 3, I feel guilty. One of my Sims (Penny Samson) was a politician. She had very good charisma/social skills. I was supposed to have her make friends with people and then ask for a political donation. I'd do it, but then I'd feel guilty.

Maybe it would have been better if she didn't befriend people. I think that's the problem...when we pretend to be someone's friend so we can get something from them. Maybe it's better to be polite and just simply trade. If you do this for me, I'll do this for you. Or....if you do this for me, I'll pay you.

For Thanksgiving 2008, our "friends" came down to visit. They were coming to town and asked to stay at our house (like they had done so before). We said yes, assuming they wanted to be with us for Thanksgiving. Well, it turned out they didn't even want to have Thanksgiving with us. They ate with other people. And they spent most of the time, visiting other friends. They sneaked out early in the morning before we woke up, and came home when they were ready to hide and go to bed. We hardly saw them. It turned out they really just wanted to use our beds, bathroom, kitchen, etc. We were hurt and offended. I felt extremely used. I thought we were their friends. I think they saw us as a free hotel. I think it would have been much better on their part if they were upfront. Hey, we're coming to visit friends in Fort Worth. We need a place to stay. Can we use your house? We can repay you in some way.

Fox says by the time he was thirty, he had six children and sixty trucks. I'm betting that he was a busy man.

Fox tries to claim that money is not important to him....family and friends are the important things. That's a nice sentiment, but I don't buy it. If his money is not important, why doesn't he give half of his billion to charity?

Fox says he doesn't like to talk about his philanthropy. I'm suspicious of that as well. I think his idea is that he doesn't want to brag about it. I think it needs to be talked about. Wealthy people show off automatically with their choice of clothes, their multiple homes, cars, jewels, etc. So why not show off how much they give to those in need? Maybe it will inspire others to give as well.

Yeah, it may be a bit tacky to say I gave ten thousand dollars for the earthquake victims in Haiti. But then isn't it also tacky to wear a diamond necklace, or allow a magazine to photograph your multi-million dollar home?

Fox's son committed suicide. That's very sad. He says, And... I guess relationships are normally the major cause of people taking their own lives, followed up by unemployment and uncertainty. So I think this is why he's trying to help kids-at-risk get employment. I think it's good that he's taken a personal tragedy, and used what he learned to try to make the world a better place.

Fox says, I honestly believe that if you apply yourself at what you want to do, you will get the outcome as long as you put the work in. This is like his Mark Twain quote from earlier. Some things are completely dependent on how much work we put in. I do a lot of work for this blog. I get the result of having a lot of posts on my blog. That's all determined by me. But there's other work that we do which can't get the results unless someone else gives us the YES that we need. Yes we'll give you that job. Yes, we'll let you borrow that money. Yes, we'll give you the part in the movie. Yes. We'll vote for you.

Here's a recent article about Fox. It says he wants to put black boxes in trucks to prevent truck drivers from having fatigue related accidents. Well, that's good. It seems he cares more about safety than profit. Fox compares Australia's road accidents to Europe's (which already uses the black box system). He says, Fatigue is about driving time, you can't cheat with an on-board computer but you could cheat with a written document.

Here's an Enough Rope Interview with Fox. I haven't seen one of these in awhile.

Fox talks about how he didn't do well in school. My cousin got his name on the honour board I, at Melbourne High School, I carved mine on the desk.

My dad and I recently talked about kids who don't do well at school. What can we do for them? I said my biggest concern is for their self-esteem. Our society puts so much emphasis on school and education. Not everyone is good at academics. Some people are good at driving trucks and making money. Instead of making these kids feel like failures, we should find alternate outlets for them. We don't all need to be book smart, and good at taking tests.

Fox says he met his wife when she was fifteen. That's close to when my parent's met. I think they met when they were both sixteen.

He's asked what attracted him to his wife, and he mentions her eighteen inch waist. That's a bit disturbing. I'm glad to have a husband who doesn't seem to care how small my waist is. Fox says he could get his fingers around his wife's waist. I guess that's fun. He jokes now that his fingers are too small. I guess that's his polite way of saying that the waist has gotten bigger.

Fox says his first date with his wife was at the Victorian Railroads Canteen. They had a pie. That's sweet. I'm trying to remember where I ate on my first date with Tim. We didn't really have a first date. We had a first weekend together. I don't remember where we first ate. We did go to a food fair that weekend though....Thai, I think.

Fox jokes that the reason they had six kids was his wife is a good Catholic, and he was a careless Protestant.

Fox does say that he's good at math. I wonder how he did with that subject in school then? Did he get okay grades? Or was it one of those situations where the teachers insisted that math be done in a specific way....their way. Sometimes school is less about learning, and more about conforming.

Oh, I like this quote here. He's asked about being friends with someone who got in trouble with the law. Fox says, Everyone can make mistakes. That’s why they put rubbers on pencils.

We all make mistakes, but there's always the chance that we can change for the better. Fox talks about sticking by friends, even when they're in jail. I disagree with him though when he says, What are friends for? Friends are there for the tough times, not the good times. I think friends should be there for each other in bad times AND good times. If they're there for only the bad times, then it seems they simply have a desire to feel needed. They have a need to rescue, but they don't want to stick around when things are going well.

Fox says his wife gets to him about leaving his clothes on the floor. I stopped worrying about that with Tim. He often leaves his clothes on the bathroom floor, instead of putting them in the laundry basket. So now I just imagine that area of the bathroom IS the laundry basket. It works out well for all of us.

Denton asks the question I've had in the back of my mind about his kids. Did you consider, encourage them then to make their way outside of your business?

The answer seems to be no. I think Fox's children were all expected to go into the family business. Did all of them want to? Did any of them have outside aspirations? Did they tell their father? If not, why did they stay silent? And if they did tell him, how did he respond?

They talk about the suicide. Fox believes it happened because his son's wife asked for a divorce. I guess he couldn't stand to lose her. But Fox adds that it was probably multiple things that happened at once. That's my feeling of suicide. I think people rarely do it because one thing went wrong in their lives. I think it happens when multiple things happen to someone, and also they feel that there's no one they can turn to.

Well, I think I'm done for now...and Jack is wanting some attention. See you guys next time!