I was a little nervous when my wife said she got me something to do while she was gone. Projects at our house can be all over the board including remodeling down to the studs (of homes and campers!), building chicken coups, and writing projects for HS classes. The variety always keeps us doing new things and learning new skills. There was no need to be nervous this time though. She brought home a book for me to read while she took the boys on Spring Break.

Capital Gaines is the personal memoir of Chip Gaines of Magnolia and Fixer-Upper fame. Chip has a lot of fun stories and it is impossible not to realize he is an engaging personality that loves life to the fullest. The book chronicles his business and family life including struggling in school, leaving everything for a trip to Mexico (that didn’t work out well), growing their family, and managing to the empire they run today.

The book is a fun and easy read. At just 169 pages, it is fun and engaging. Chip shares his lessons learned and exciting stories using his fun and playful tone. Things like the stick figure diagrams of him riding a 4-wheeler off a cliff help the book stay light-hearted.

In the end, I feel like I have a few things in common with Mr. Gains. I’m sure if you read the book you will find something he does or believes to fit in line with your life. He does a great job of connecting with his readers.


“Your purpose is just like mine, it’s big, and it’s important, and there’s no one else anywhere on the planet who can fulfill it. So quit messing around – and go get ‘em.”

“Vocation is a powerful thing. Don’t let it just happen to you. Chase after it…”

“Complacency is the enemy, and getting started is as triumphant as crossing the finish line.”

“There’s no cap to the amount of time or resources I would give to my kids if I knew it could help them fulfill their destiny. I want to instill in them that they are competent to go do anything in the whole wide world if they are willing to do the work and set their minds to it… As parents, we have the unique opportunity to champion our children’s dreams in a way that no one else can.”

“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.”

unsplash-logoMilivoj Kuhar


  1. Vearl Tolbert on May 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for the review of this book, Phil! The quote regarding the HOPE for change outside of core values is a very interesting take away and perspective. Great job!

    • Phil on May 7, 2018 at 11:43 pm

      Yes – such a good quote. Thanks for your comment, Vearl!

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