Four Things We Can Learn From Fixer Upper


There’s no doubt the popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper, has captured the American audience. Chip and Joanna Gaines have made a name for themselves in a big way and we just can’t seem to get enough of them. But behind all the charm and incredible design, there are a few key lessons we can all take from the rehab reality TV show.

  1. There are always unexpected maintenance costs.
    About halfway through every episode of Fixer Upper, Chip stumbles across an unexpected bump during his beloved #DemoDay. Sometimes the repairs only total a couple hundred dollars, other times, it’s more like thousands. Either way, the dreaded call is almost always made (by Joanna), causing the couple to re-examine their budget. Keep this in mind when you’re working on your own rehab projects. The pop-up maintenance issues on the show are not just added for higher ratings. They happen. Even when you’ve done your due diligence, the unexpected can and will occur. So make sure you build enough contingency money into your budget to tackle any unpleasant surprises.
  1. With good design comes good return (on investment).
    There’s a reason the show is called Fixer Upper. Aside from the structural improvements to make each home livable, Joanna works her magic to make spaces both functional and beautiful. In the end, the property owner is left with quite a bit of equity in the property because of the incredible resale value after the renovation. Design is key. If you want a property to break from its vacant status, reconsider your design. Make changes that create more function and add plenty of character to the space. Your prospects will be much more likely to bite if they are shown a practical and appealing space.
  1. You don’t have to chase fame to be successful.
    Chip and Jo’s humble spirits are obvious. Even in the midst of their fame, the couple keeps true to themselves. They aren’t quick to take credit and certainly aren’t chasing celebrity or fortune—their success and recognition are a product of their hard work. They illustrate the fact that big returns and notoriety can’t be a business’ only motivation—working hard and mastering your calling are the foundation for future rewards.
  1. Building an empire is a multifaceted journey.
    It started as a small house-flipping business and grew to an empire. Chip and Joanna’s brand has expanded way beyond HGTV. Today their business consists of the Magnolia Market, the Magnolia House, their newly launched “Magnolia Journal,” and of course, Fixer Upper. They’ve managed to turn all of their creative talents into money-making ventures that will sustain their family for years. The same principles go for people looking to expand their portfolio. Consider all of your talents and harness them to build your brand bigger than you ever thought possible.

Now you can consider your Tuesday night binge-watching more than just entertainment. It’s educational! There are more lessons to be learned from America’s cutest couple, so take note and ask yourself how what you see might be applicable in your own work and life.