How to Live Your Own Magnolia Story

“If only I could live in Waco…” If you’re like me, you come to this conclusion at the end of every episode of Fixer Upper. Thankfully, The Magnolia Story shows readers what life was like for Chip and Joanna Gaines before HGTV. Imagine sitting around the kitchen table, trading stories after dinner, and getting to hear how Chip and JoJo got engaged, what disasters turned out to be turning points in their lives, and grinning every time Chip says, “Now we’re rocking and rolling.” This book invites readers behind the scenes to get to know the couple a little better. Eager to live your own Magnolia life? Taking these steps might help bring some of that Fixer Upper magic to your business, family, and home:

  1. Start early. (In college, Chip had already become a serial entrepreneur, selling books, fireworks, and lawn services.)
  2. When in doubt, pick a theme and commit to it, whether it’s magnolia flowers, white subway tiles, or a vendor you love working with.
  3. Marry your opposite. Find someone who grounds you or someone who draws you out. Play off each other’s strengths.
  4. Go big. Get engaged in your own private jewelry store. Buy every house on the block. Have four kids instead of two. Don’t just have a dog, have three dogs. Then add a goat, chickens, and cows.
  5. Take risks and cultivate an entrepreneurial approach to life. (Read: if your husband buys a clunker of a houseboat sight unseen, go with it.)
  6. Related: embrace “opportunities,” even if you need to cry first. Don’t be afraid to have loud throw-primer-in-your-face fights. Just talk it through afterward.
  7. Embrace the messiness of life. Let go of perfectionism and focus on values that matter like family and being present.
  8. Forego owning a television. Watch big games at Baylor in the stadium or at a friend’s house.
  9. Forget watching the way a date treats your waiter. If you can find someone who gets along with ragtag neighborhood kids, the construction crew, and, clients with money to burn, you probably have a winner.
  10. Know what you like and trust that other people might like it too.
  11. Choose projects that have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  12. If you’re the kind of couple that knows “the more time we spend together, the better our relationship is,” find a hobby or something you both like doing together.
  13. Focus on delivering a complete sensory experience to clients, not just selling products.
  14. Reinvest every dollar you make back into your business and community.
  15. The voice of God, intuition, inner wisdom…whatever you call it, don’t ignore it.

The Magnolia Story is on B&N bookshelves now.

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