When you see the immense success that Chip and Joanna Gaines enjoy today, it’s hard to imagine a time when the couple didn’t have it all.
Of course, there was such a time, and it was very real and difficult for the couple, as they revealed at HubSpot’s Inbound 2019 marketing conference in Boston. They spoke to a room full of marketers about their journey from two small businesses, Magnolia Market and Magnolia Homes, to the empire they run today.
If you know anything about business, you know that no one’s rise to the top comes without setbacks. Chip and Joanna wanted people to know that they are no exception. During their talk, they spoke very candidly about their struggles.
“The four or five years before we did the show, when the housing crisis hit, things were so hard for us,” Joanna explained, according to Good Morning America. “For four or five years every Friday, we were saying, ‘Are we gonna make it?’”
In uncertain times, the couple persevered through a combination of determination and belief in their dreams. “We kept pressing through, even in those hard times,” Joanna noted. It was the ability to do so that makes their current success that much sweeter.
“The value of what we learned in that is something I’d never want to do again, but I’d never not want that,” Joanna told the audience full of entrepreneurs and hopefuls. “The hard is what makes us appreciate this.”
Chip and Joanna also touched on another subject they’ve become authorities on. They opened up about the realities of working with a significant other and why that isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone.
“This is a very hard thing to do, to work together with someone you also have a relationship and a family with,” Chip explained, according to People. “We definitely disagree. It’s not perfect. But for Jo and I, it really is a special bond we’re extremely proud of. We work really well together.”
Chip then elaborated on why he thinks it works so well for them. “We’re this odd yin and yang, this whole opposites attract. It really was this powerful chemistry that happened early in our marriage. We enjoyed spending time together, taking on challenges together,” he recalled.
“I would argue that at the end of the day, we learned early that we’re a lot stronger and powerful when we’re pulling together, as opposites to pulling against each other,” he noted. “We’re a powerful force when we operate like that.”
As for the thing that keeps it working so well today? Chip said that “our secret ingredient to our marriage and working relationship is a solid mutual respect.”
“We definitely disagree. It’s not perfect,” he added. “A lot of hard work goes into this, but if you can get to a mutual place of respect, you can change the world.”
Joanna also revealed some personal struggles that she faced. “I spent so many years just insecure, not believing I was good enough. I think of all the years I would sit there and not believe my value,” Joanna revealed.
She had some advice, not just for her past self, but for all those listening. “I would go back and say, you’re not only good enough, you’re extraordinary, and the thing you have is a gift. And I’m the only one with that gift, period,” she said. “We all have a gift that we have to offer to the world. The sooner you know and believe it the better.”
Joanna and Chip also talked about their newest venture, their Magnolia cable network. They revealed that while many people advised them against going into cable television, the experience has been exhilarating.
“That’s been the most fun part, finding these stories, either people we’ve known, we’ve met, we’re meeting via social media. What we are finding is amazing people who are great in those specific genres and highlighting their stories. There’s amazing stories that are waiting to be told, and that felt like the perfect for Magnolia,” said Joanna.
Of course, at their core, they’re still Chip and Jo. Even though they’re developing their own network, it hasn’t changed their “old school” ways.
“We still don’t have a TV,” Joanna told the audience.