Lesson #2: “In life you’ve got to put all you’ve got into it”

"My mental arithmetic's always been good. I always try and make one and one equal three," says Fox. "Most of the people look at one and one making two but I try to work out how to put some icing on the cake."

Fox's life has had its fair share of challenges, but none more challenging than the death of his son Michael in 1991.

"No warning at all," says Fox of the tragedy. "I think Michael, his wife said, ‘I no longer love you. I want a divorce.' They'd been married for nine months and he wanted a family pretty much the same as the one he was brought up with and I guess there's nothing worse than somebody losing somebody they love and want to take their life all the way through with them and all of a sudden it's cut off."

The event was a turning point for Fox.

"Well, life is about being up and being down and being able to get up again," he says. "And in my walks of life, I guess I thought I was invincible till one of my sons committed suicide. And at that point of time, I knew I wasn't invincible."

Fox began to take a look at his own life and achievements.

"Well, it made you take stock and say, ‘How can you help?' And I finished up being on the Federal Government suicide board, the State Government suicide board," he says. "I guess relationships are normally the major cause of people taking their own lives, followed up by unemployment and uncertainty. And you've got to try and take all of those things out of it and do what you can to talk to families that have found huge grief in suicide, and talk about it so that it doesn't just keep on dwelling at the lower sector of their belly. It just keeps on creating acid. But if you talk about it, you can get it out of your system and you can help other people by doing it."

Fox went on to advise the Federal and Victorian governments on youth suicide, and joined the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention. He was even named "Victorian Father of the Year" in 1992.

Beyond giving Fox a new purpose in life, it also made him revaluate the way he does business.

"The mind I guess when it takes a, a position of going down a certain track, chances are it's been considered. But I think it's probably a series of events that all seem to go wrong and say what's life for? What's it all about?" says Fox, who then revaluated what his life was for.

"Well, Henry Ford answered it pretty well when he said, ‘If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right,' says Fox. "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."

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