Hello! For those of you who are new to XINNIX and our blog, my name is Casey Cunningham, and I’m the CEO and Founder of XINNIX. Since we opened our doors back in 2002, our mission has been simple: to transform the lives of every person we touch. As Katie mentioned at the beginning of this series, the One Thing concept is something that has not only transformed my business but my life.
We all wear many different hats and play many different roles in our lives, which leaves things quite busy. Today I’d like to share the One Thing I’ve learned that helps me keep my life in balance. Everyone talks about balance in terms of work versus home or work versus play, but if you’re doing what you love every day, then work should be play. It should be fun and rewarding. For me, balance is all about prioritizing the roles in your life and having those roles exist in harmony. You can’t have balance until you first understand what those priorities are and how they rank, so-to-speak, against one another.
Casey with her husband, Rob, their two daughters, and their pups
The first step to balance is establishing what your roles are. When I began this process for myself, I literally stopped what I was doing at the time, grabbed a piece of paper and started making a list of my roles in order of importance to me. Here’s what my list looks like starting from the most important:
1. Faithful Christian – God is the most important person in my life. My first priority is to Him and being the person He created me to be. I make it a point to study His Word, and I’m always looking for ways to strengthen my relationship with Him and to share His love with others.
2. Devoted Spouse – My husband, Rob, is the second person on my list. Rob and I have been married for 18 years. He is my partner in life and my support system. It’s important to me to have a healthy marriage not only because I love my husband, but also because I want to make sure that my daughters grow up in a happy, loving home. It’s also important that Rob and I set an example for our daughters so that they can one day recognize true love in their own lives. Which brings me to role number three…
3. Present Mother – As I mentioned previously, I have two daughters and they are my world. It’s important to me that they know this, so I make sure when I have made a promise to “be there,” that they are my focus, and I am not doing anything but being in the moment with them together and one-on-one. Besides being there to participate in their lives I also schedule time that is just for us like a standing Wednesday morning breakfast. We call them WOW Wednesdays in our house.
4. Loving Daughter – My mother and I are very close. I am the youngest of five children, and my father passed away when I was very young, so my mother raised us by herself for most of my childhood, and therefore is incredibly important to me. My mother lives in Florida with my brothers, so I make it a point to call and talk to her as often as possible and spend time with her whenever I can.
5. Amazing Sister – Coming from a large family, my siblings are extremely important to me, and I consider my oldest sister to be my best friend. Like my mother, my siblings live in other states, so I make it a priority to check in with them often and make time to visit them and their families.
6. Servant Leader – As the CEO of XINNIX, I feel personally responsible for the lives of my team. I want to make sure that they know how much I appreciate them and how blessed I am by them every day. You spend a large portion of your life with your coworkers, and I’m so thankful that this group chooses to share their lives with me.
7. Supportive Friend – They say that friends are the family you choose, and I couldn’t agree more. Having a strong support system to carry you through life’s ups and downs is invaluable. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and slowly drift apart from friends you hold so dear. You must make an effort to schedule time to catch up or it will never happen.
8. Community Volunteer – At XINNIX, one of our core values is service. I’m a firm believer in positively contributing to my community whenever I can. I actively participate with the board at Mary Hall Freedom House, an Atlanta non-profit organization “empowering women to break the cycle of addiction, poverty, and homelessness for themselves and their children.” Additionally, through the XINNIX Gives Back Initiative, our company partners with many local organizations to help fulfill the needs of our community.
Living in balance isn’t easy by any means, but once you establish these roles and their order of importance, once you commit to living life according to your list, balance becomes attainable. You must simply make each decision according to the importance of that role in your life. Before I established this list for myself, my mother would call me at work, and I would answer with, “I’m sorry, Mom. I don’t have time to talk right now. I’ll call you back.” And of course, I would forget. Now that I have these roles aligned, I understand that she is more important than work, so she comes first. Work will always be there, but my mother will not. Now when she calls, I take her call!
Casey embraces her mother
Several years ago, before our daughters were born, my husband and I raised our nephews for a while. One evening, I drove home from work and was on a business call on my cell phone when I pulled into the driveway. My nephew came running out of the house to greet me with a story. As he knocked on my car window to get my attention, I lifted my finger to say, “Give me a minute,” and pointed to the phone to show him that I was on a call. In that moment, I saw the energy and joy that previously filled his eyes slip away. From his perspective, I had just told him that whoever was on the other end of that call was more important than he was, and at that time in his life especially, he needed to feel like the most important person to me. I made a promise that day that I would never pull into my driveway while on the phone again. If I was on a call, I would circle the block until I was finished so that I could be fully present for my family when I got home.
I challenge each person who is reading this to sit down today, grab a piece of paper, and write down each of the roles that are most important to you. Establish your roles and their importance and start living in balance. I hope that you’ll join me next week as I give you a behind the scenes look at how I use the One Thing concept in my role as the CEO of XINNIX and share the One Thing that has had the greatest impact on my business over these almost two decades.