I have always loved Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Maybe it’s because I’ve always dreamed of being a southern belle and living deep in the heart of Texas on a farm with a bunch of random animals that I can love. Maybe it’s because I love design, home decor, organization and taking something run down and making it new again. Or maybe it’s because I have a thing for genuine people. Either way, they are my some day #lifegoals.
I recently read their book The Magnolia Story and fell in love with them even more. So today I thought I’d share 9 things I’ve learned from Chip and Jo.
Your life probably isn’t going to turn out how you planned
Joanna has said many times how she never in a million years would have guessed this would be her life. She was a quiet girl who always followed the rules and did what was expected of her. She moved to NYC for an internship in Journalism and had always pictured starting her life there post college. But she couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t her passion and it wasn’t what was meant for her. Even as they began their house flipping and home building business she never could have imagined the scale of which they’d one day be working on.
The takeaway: Life is messy and no matter how hard we try, most of it we can’t plan. Commit to the ride and make the most out of what comes your way.
There is always time to laugh and be goofy
The playfulness of Chip and Jo is second to none! No matter what deadline they have or what they’ve got their hands full with you’ll always catch these two cracking jokes with each other, their employees, their clients or their kids, and I love that about them.
The takeaway: If you don’t have time to laugh, evaluate where you can make time because laughter is always worth it.
Listen to that little voice inside your head
Chip and Joanna both have strong intuition. More importantly, they trust that intuition! Before Fixer Upper was filmed Joanna owned a small home goods store. She built it from the ground up and it was becoming very successful, but as they started to have children she couldn’t help but hear a little voice in her head telling her to spend more time with her young children. While it broke her heart to close her beloved shop, she knew the voice in her head wouldn’t lead her astray. She closed her shop to be home with her kids and number of years later after Fixer Upper started filming she was able to re-open her shop.
The takeaway: If your gut, heart, or head is trying to tell you something, listen to it – even if it’s hard to hear.
Always be yourself
Joanna talks in The Magnolia Story about when HGTV first came to Waco to film them for a pilot episode. She admits that initially it was a total disaster! She was self-conscious about how to act in front of the cameras. Well low and behold right in the middle of filming, Chip shows up with one of his famous “Chip surprises” and it totally broke the ice. In that moment Joanna was so shocked and annoyed at Chip’s little surprise that she was 100% herself. Their interaction was so genuine and real, and it was that fiasco that made producers realize how unique and special they were and how much America was going to fall in love with them.
The takeaway: There is not a single person on the planet with your unique gifts AND your story. What you have to offer is important.
Mix a little old with the new
Joanna has taken the design world by storm with her signature “farm house” decor style, but what I really love about her unique design flare is that she always mixes some of the old with some of the new. Joanna talks about revealing a home’s story; bringing out the character of a home and then adding to it. I think our lives are kind of like that too.
The takeaway: The best things in life take the character and stories of the past and mix it with the brightness of the future.
Before Chip and Jo were household names they were simple house flippers and home builders. They started small with just a property or two and from there they took calculated risks to grow their business more and more. As their business grew, they invested back into it and looked for new opportunities and risks to take. Admittedly, not all of their risks paid off. Not every flip made money, and not every business idea came to fruition, but they continued to work hard.
The takeaway: Every dream will come to a plateau at some point. You’ll either stop here and call it quits or you’ll take a risk and break through the plateau.
Always remember what is truly important
How many TV sensations (or regular people in general!) do you know that don’t have a TV in their home? The Gaines’ are famous for having a TV free home despite their TV fame. Joanna has been quoted as saying that “they want their kids to know that life happens outside of these devices”.
More so, HGTV initially wanted to film Fixer Upper somewhere a little more “tv friendly”. Chip and Jo said they weren’t in if they couldn’t film in their hometown of Waco, Texas. Chip and Jo also don’t work on homes farther than an hour from Waco because of the time it would take away from being with their kids. I love how no amount of fame or money will make Chip and Jo put family on the back-burner.
The takeaway: When the dust settles and the fame is gone, you’ll be left with the relationships you put time and effort into.
Know when to walk away
It was recently announced that season 5 would be the last season of Fixer Upper. Chip and Jo wrote a heartfelt post on their blog and even made a video discussing their decision. Adoring fans all over the country are shocked and saddened by the news. Although they’ve said how tough the decision was they stand by it and feel it is what is best for their business and their family.
The takeaway: The decisions you feel you need to make won’t always make sense to others, make the decision anyway.
Know that God has been there from the beginning and will be there until the end
The thing I admire most about Chip and Jo is their dedication to their faith. Chip has been quoted as saying, “I try not to rub it in anybody’s face. We’re not real boisterous about it but people seem to find out about it just through the way that Jo and I live our lives”. Their faith isn’t something they check at the door, it’s something that influences every part of their life – from the way they parent their children, to the way they handle their business and treat their employees.
The takeaway: A life genuinely built on a relationship with God will transcend every aspect of your life for the better.