Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff

This review originally appeared on Future Female Leaders

Hearts around the world shattered when it was announced that Fixer Upper would be ending after its fifth season, but if you can’t get enough of Chip and Joanna Gaines, I’ve got the perfect book for you. Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff is a must-read book for anyone who loves HGTV, loves funny stories, wants to feel uplifted, and needs a kick in the butt to keep fighting the good fight in life. Chip Gaines’ first solo book is not just his life story. It’s a memoir of a man who has never given up. He encourages everyone else to no longer fear failure and go for their dreams.

If you didn’t read The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines, you’ll really enjoy getting to know Chip Gaines’ business background in Capital Gaines. Chip Gaines already planned to be a professional baseball player. He spent a lot of time honing his skills on the field, until he was cut from the Baylor baseball team his sophomore year of college. That forced him to reevaluate his life plans, something we’ve all probably done at least once in our life. He came out on the other side as a burgeoning entrepreneur who would run a landscaping business, a home renovation group, and a laundry service for college students. Talk about taking on a full plate. Did it always go perfectly? Of course not. That’s okay, Chip says, even for the best, because he has learned so much from the failure in his life and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

In Capital Gaines, you’ll learn more about how Chip and Joanna built their empire, how they built their family, amd how they think about life. Their love for God and trust in his intentions is on full display throughout the book. They do not shy away from talking about their faith, which is so refreshing in an increasingly secular society. Chip shares amazing insight into how he leads, which makes me want to drop out of school, move to Waco, and work for him, and how he has learned from his employees. One of my favorite chapters was about building bridges and digging ditches, bridging the divide between different kinds of people and finding unity in a society so divided. It’s a must read chapter.

Chip Gaines devotes an entire chapter of his book to explaining why he and Joanna have chosen to end Fixer Upper, a difficult decision for both of them, but ultimately the right one for them to make. While my heart was absolutely broken to hear that Fixer Upper was ending after the current season, it was reassuring when I read Chip and Joanna’s reasons and I truly believe that they will make the best of their life off of TV and that this will not be the last we see of them. As Chip puts it, he can only do two things really well at a time. With the show he was juggling three things: his family, his business, and his show, and ultimately, the show was what had to go to restore balance to his life. We can’t blame a man for putting his family first , can we? There is still the Magnolia Market, including a new restaurant called The Magnolia Table, to visit to get our Fixer Upper Fix. Plus, Joanna has a cookbook coming out in April titled The Magnolia Table.

So, if not a TV show, what does the future hold for Chip and Joanna Gaines? Well, Chip used the phrase “If I run for office one day” at least three times in this book, and in his “ideal” obituary, he envisioned Joanna running for president and him serving as her vice president for two terms. These may have been jokes, but based on the timing of this book, the care he took with it and with sharing his message and vision for the future, I think Chip or Joanna or maybe both of them are going to run for office. Personally, I think Chip is more likely to run for a Congressional seat in Texas or maybe for mayor of Waco. I truly think he could win. He and Joanna are beloved. They embody the values of Christ and have worked hard to put Waco, Texas back on the map, which have they done ten-fold. If Chip Gaines ran on the values and messaging that he laid out in this book, I’m almost positive he could win in Texas.

This is a must-read book for anyone who loves HGTV, adores the Gaines family, and wants to feel motivated and have renewed hope for the future. Chip’s writing style is welcoming and conversational, making you feel like you’re living inside the stories as he tells them. Chip Gaines is an amazing man and this book is the culmination of the life he’s lived thus far and the perfect conclusion to five season of Fixer Upper. Pick up Capital Gaines wherever books are sold and devour it. You won’t regret it. Chip’s wisdom and wit is unique, entertaining, and worth the time you’ll spend with this book of his.






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