“Fixer Upper” star, Chip Gaines, apparently did not run his businesses very well back in the day. When he was dating his wife, Joanna, he put her in a terrible position which almost cost their relationship.
“By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I was knee-deep in three different business, and I’d been working with the same group of Mexican guys on all of them,” Chip wrote in his upcoming memoir, “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff.”
Gaines continued saying, “These were my boys, and something about their culture and work ethic really resonated with me,” he said.
Apparently, Chip had a difficult time communicating with the crew, so he decided to enroll in a 3-month Spanish course in Mexico. At that time, Joanna and Chip were dating only for six months, and she fully supported this step. Joanna even agreed to fully handle all of Chip’s businesses while he was away, all the while still working full-time for her father at his tire shop.
“Although her talent for bookkeeping was unmatched, I had sorely underprepared her for the events that were about to unfold,” Chip admitted.
The Phone Call
Within two weeks, Chip and Joanna were in a heated phone conversation. Joanna had been dealing with bounced checks and frustrated employees. “Your business is a joke!” Chip recalled her saying. “All these people are coming to my dad’s shop demanding to be paid, and there’s no money! Lucky for you, your dad is bailing your sorry butt out.”
At about that time, Joanna laid out an ultimatum: “You have three days to get back to Texas or this relationship is over.” Chip, doing the right thing, rushed back home and apologized to Joanna, her dad, and his dad.
“The pitiful look on my face must have been powerful,” he stated because he felt an immediate change in Joanna’s father. “I witnessed his expression melt from anger to grace"
Chip says he truly did learn a valuable lesson. “I had unintentionally put Jo in a terrible spot,” he said. “No language acquisition or dream trip was worth that. It became my mission to prove to Jo, my parents, her parents and myself that I could do this — that I was the real deal and I wouldn’t stop until I made this entrepreneurial dream of mine a reality.”