Chip Gaines is one half of the husband and wife team starring in HGTV’s Fixer Upper. For anyone who has seen the show before, the personalities of both Chip and his wife, Joanna, are on full display. Joanna is the calculating, strategic, and organized one while Chip has more of a tendency to fly by the seat of his pants. The combination of their personalities has led to the success of their business and their show, Fixer Upper.
In Capital Gaines, Chip gives his reader a window into who he is and shares some of how he’s become the person that he is today. Gaines shares his successes and his failures. He’s incredibly honest about his shortcomings and shares times when things could have gone significantly different than they did.
He tells of the origin of the wishbone scar on his forehead and how the event that caused it changed him and the decisions that he made for the future. He tells of the significant people who have shaped and formed his way of thinking, his work ethic, and his overall outlook on life. All the while he reminds the reader that he doesn’t believe in accidents, seeing God’s hand in many of the situations that he has experienced in his life.
Gaines highlights some of the differences between him and his wife, Joanna. His love for her and his family is especially evident throughout this book. In fact, towards the end of the book, he shares that he and Joanna are calling it quits with their show, Fixer Upper, after the fifth season. They want to spend more time devoted to their family, something I see as admirable.
As Chip Gaines shares the stories of his life and experience, he gives the reader the sense that he’s someone they could easily befriend. You almost feel as if you’re sitting on the porch of his Waco, Texas farm, sharing a beer or two with him as he spins his tales.
It’s easy to get a glimpse of Chip Gaines on Fixer Upper and imagine that he’s just the joker/cut-up of a guy who’s always looking for a laugh and who hardly takes himself or anyone else too seriously. While that’s a part of who he is, the wisdom that he shares throughout this book far exceeds what would be expected of the “class clown.” I particularly appreciated his chapter on creating a “team of rivals” as well as the chapter on being the “runway” for people who you lead and train.
Considering the political climate of the United States, Gaines’ chapter on creating a team of rivals should be required for anyone who runs for political office, who posts on social media, and who basically has any kind of interaction with another human being on a regular basis. He vies for working side by side rather than limiting our conversations to Twitter and other social media, for it’s there that we get to know each other and understand each other better. He shares that, “There is no chance for any of us to see eye to eye if we are unwilling to even look in each other’s direction.” He goes so far as to say that the broad and oversimplified strokes with which we paint perfect stranger is just plain ignorant. If people could stop and take to heart most of what he’s written here, I think we’d be a whole lot better off.
Gaines also shares about those who have acted as “runways” in his life, training him up and being examples of hard work for him. His desire is to be the same for everyone else in his life. He shares stories of training up employees through baptism of fire, saying that their learning will be far more significant and permanent because they had to figure things out for themselves rather than having him walk them through things one step at a time.
It took me a day to read this book. It was a fast and easy read, but so well worth it. Chip Gaines seems like an all around fun guy to hang around and definitely someone that you would want in your corner to challenge you, train you, and encourage you. The depth of who he is as a person comes through in Capital Gaines, he can go from making you laugh to challenging your way of thinking in his winsome and delightful manner.
If you want to understand Chip Gaines a little more than you can by simply watching Fixer Upper, pick up a copy of this book. You won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time at all, and you might just learn something from the insights that Gaines has shared here.
(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Booklook Bloggers. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)