Identifying Your “Y” Factors

This transcript is based on the podcast WAKE UP: Identifying the Y Factors

What are your “Y” factors?

When life throws crap at you, do you use it to fertilize your garden or do you sit there with your face in it? That’s a choice you make.

Your choices define you, not your circumstances.

My mission in life is to wake you up to the power you have to create a life of your choosing. Part of how I do that involves the X, Y, and Z factors we’re covering in these articles. As I’m teaching it, I’m learning it and experiencing it as well. This is something we can all grow from.

For me, my growth in this process began a few years ago. I stopped crying in my soup and refused to view my circumstances as chains holding me back from where I wanted to be in life.

Growing up in a religious commune, I had very little contact with the outside world until my early 20s. My life started later than most. When I finally learned to question everything about what I thought was wrong with me and what my weaknesses were, I was able to turn those into my X factors and realize them as my strengths.

It’s inevitable, the more you break through, the more you grow; and the more you start to figure your crap out the more crap there is to figure out…

Sometimes it feels like the more you figure out how to deal with crap in life, the more crap there is to deal with! So what does one do about that? That’s where your Y factors come in. These are your methods of operation that come from your core values and principles. They are where your best self comes from.

For example, think back to a time in your life when something amazing happened. When you persevered, stuck it out, and accomplished something big. During that phase you learned a lesson about the importance of perseverance, right? From that, perseverance became one of your core values. You developed that character trait through that situation.

Check out for my core values.

If you go onto my blog and check out the About tab, there you will find my core values. Having them written out in public view they are more real to me as opposed to just being in my head, and I am more accountable to them because they’re out there.

One of my personal Y factors is that I am honest. I hate being lied to, misled, or manipulated because I was a victim of that for a very long time. I know how it feels to be treated that way and that made me make a commitment never to do those things to other people as they had been done to me.

Another of my Y factors is that I believe in creating plans. I work best when I have a plan to create an ultimate outcome in mind that I want to achieve. If you want a better relationship, financial independence, or whatever else, take that outcome and reverse engineer a plan to achieve it. At all times, approach your plan in a proactive manner. Being proactive as a method of operation will expedite results because living “reactively” never leads to your goals.

A third Y factor of mine is that I commit myself. Once I do that, there’s no going back. For the first 25 years of my life, I was scared to death of commitment. I was cynical and fearful of everyone. I didn’t know who I was. How could I commit when I didn’t know myself? I was just a collage of what I liked in other people. How much of that was original and really me?

That’s what happens when you commit: you give yourself the power to solely be yourself.

It was then, at the age of 25 that I began to shape who I was. I said to myself: “Fuck it. I’m going to fail forward. I’m going to make decisions, make commitments, burn bridges, and never apologize for it. I will adapt, and I will learn.” And you know what? Committing like that gave me permission to fail. Permission to screw up. Permission to be me. That’s what happens when you commit: you give yourself the power to be yourself. You live your life on YOUR terms, not anyone else’s.

Another Y factor of mine is that I am at my best when I work with a team. I used to think I had to be all things and be good at every aspect of my business. This was a learned behavior for me all because the kind of world I grew up in. It was a place where we were expected to learn and do things hands on. Among many skills, I learned, for example, metal fabricating, wood working and was taught to weld. There was no, “I don’t know how to do that”; you learned how, and you did it. If you didn’t know how to do something, you learned to ask the right questions in order to figure out how to do it.

This mentality was something that held me back in my business when I first got started because I felt as though it was my duty to learn how to, and become good at, everything. I was a control freak who couldn’t let others do anything. Nothing anyone did was good enough. It was years before I hired my first employee! It was difficult being in a business, or any type of relationship with me because I always double checked everything. I had to learn to let go and trust others to do their jobs. I’ve found that perform at my best when I am part of a team with each person playing to their strengths. Putting that into practice was a huge lesson in trust for me.

I used the experiences to transform the way I approached my life.

I thought I had to do everything on my own because growing up that was the example that was set out for me. Some of my X factors (my attention to detail and work ethic) came out of that experience, but the Y factor that I laid claim to came out in the opposite way. I used the experience to transform the way I approached my life, becoming instead, a team player.

When I took my personal Y factors to heart, that’s when my business took off. But at the time it was all about my brand, my ego, my bank account. Me, me, and more me. There’s nothing wrong with being money-motivated if you’re not hurting anyone. But that didn’t work for me because I have a community identity; I picked that up from growing up in a 150 person family on my religious commune (or, maybe it’s because I am Canadian.)

When I learned how to embrace a community mentality and share what I had learned with other people instead of keeping it for myself, the focus of my business shifted from making me rich to teaching others how to succeed. It was by far, more rewarding and gratifying to see people succeed collectively.

There was so much more fulfillment for me with that mentality. For so long, I had this void inside me that I wanted to fill with a mission and a purpose. I got hooked on how I felt when I helped people see their circumstances in a new light. Guess what happened to my income? If you start to look at these X and Y factors strategically like this, they can make you unstoppable and capable of so much more.

Another Y factor that was instilled in me as a child is that I always earn my way. I don’t want a free pass or a hand out. I will find a way to figure things out myself. It’s the exact opposite of entitlement thinking, which is the most toxic disease an entrepreneur could ever have. You cannot be entitled to anything and at the same time be empowered to create your best life! Because the moment you feel entitled to something, that means you are taking it for granted, and that is the opposite of gratitude.

Entitlement is a fear-based want.

Entitlement means you’re fearful of lacking something because you don’t believe in the possibility of acquiring it yourself; thus you need someone else to do it for you. How the hell can you believe that and at the same time, see the power you have to create the life of your dreams? It’s not possible. Entitlement thinking and accomplishing dreams are totally incompatible. No one is entitled to anything in life. No one owes you your happiness and no one has to solve your problems for you.

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

My last Y factor is my attention to detail, which is a commitment to excellence. And when I say that, I do not mean being perfect. My dad always said, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” If he saw me working on a weld and I didn’t get it done just right, he’d do it for me. It would make me want to get it perfect, which became unhealthy for me.

Perfectionism is a disease and I say this because there comes a point where you have to let good enough be good enough. Don’t let perfect get in the way of good and hold you back from ever moving on.

Excellence means just doing your best. I was obsessive-compulsive and a perfectionist back then! Talk about head games. I had to learn to let go. It wasn’t about getting it perfect, but doing my best. In order to feel good about what you’re doing, all you have to do is to do your best.

Fulfillment is found in doing your best at something. Whatever you do, do your best at it, and you’ll feel good about it. When I was a landscaper, I’d trim grass to the best of my ability, and that would make me feel good about the work I’d done.

Fulfillment has nothing to do with your circumstances.

There’s this illusion about fulfillment that many people have. You don’t have to have a “dream job” to be fulfilled! Fulfillment has nothing to do with your circumstances. If you cannot feel fulfilled at whatever you are doing now, you’ll never feel fulfilled at anything you do. I know people who have jobs that I personally could never find any joy in doing, but it works for them because they give it their best. That’s fulfillment.

Every negative thing that happens to you has a silver lining. I promise you that. You just have to look at it the right way to see it. Whatever you’re facing now, be glad you have a problem of that magnitude to face. Just imagine how strong and brilliant you’ll be once you come back and tell the tale of how you conquered it? Say, “Go ahead and throw another snowball at me. I will lick it off and show my teeth.”

That’s the way you need to show up and live your life. That resilience comes from the place within you where your unshakable core lives: your deepest values. Your Y factors.

Next week we’ll go into your Z factors and tie it all together. Actually in that session we’ll  learn how to build and also increase your personal value to society.