“We thought about doing a design book or a book about parenting, but at the 11th hour we were like, ‘This isn’t going to work. We need plan B,’ ” Chip recalls.
“We were in a pickle, so I was like, ‘I’ll do my book!’ The [publishing] executives said, ‘All right, maybe we can make something out of it.’ So we turned the page, and it became the story of my life.”
In Chip’s “labor of love,” he writes about everything from his charmed childhood in Texas, to an ill-fated move to Mexico and how he pulled off a red carpet birthday party for wife Joanna, 39, with only a few bucks to his name. But the book also drops one major bombshell: The Gainses are officially ending Fixer Upper.
In an exclusive excerpt from his book, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff, due out Oct. 17, Gaines, 42, opens up about staying true to himself—and his family—while still adapting to new challenges ahead.
As Jo and I move through our crazy new life as semi-celebrities, well-meaning people are always telling us, “Please don’t change!” And I’m pretty sure what they’re saying is that they don’t want us to lose our authenticity. I get that for sure. And yet I wince each time someone says it to us. Guys, listen, we have changed. We are changing, and we’re about to change some more. It is quite literally impossible to build a company or go on national TV or have children and remain the same. What’s never going to change? Our values, our priorities, our commitment to each other and our family. But I hope that literally every other part of our lives changes. I hope that every new season and situation of life changes me. Some people show enormous resistance to modifying even a fraction of themselves. They’re not about to shift the way they think or what they think they know. They simply expect others to get with the program — to adjust their mind-set and fall into their way of thinking. How ignorant for any one of us to assume that we have a monopoly on right perspective and no one else holds even a piece of the puzzle. And how arrogant to just demand that people change for us without ever making the effort to know them as human beings or understand where they’re coming from.
WATCH: Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Most Lovable Outtakes!
One way in which the Gaineses are hoping to further embrace change is by bridging the gap between people with widely different points of view via an ongoing and respectful dialogue.
I wonder if being angrily shouted at or arrogantly debated with has ever swayed a single person? Are human hearts moved by being ridiculed and mocked? When people fling accusations with the presumption of knowing another person’s intentions, what possible outcome could they be hoping for? Who would ever move to their enemy’s camp under such treatment? I really believe that we won’t get anywhere, that no healing or breakthrough can occur apart from developing actual relationships with one another. As much as I love Twitter, Twitter feuds aren’t going to work. Actually connecting requires true face-to-face time. I believe with all my heart that it’s only after working side by side with another person that you earn the right to speak into that person’s life. It’s a basis of friendship that can forge a path toward common ground.
For more on Chip and Joanna, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
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