Clint Harp Inspires Readers to Chase Their Dreams In Newly Released Memoir

Clint Harp is sharing his journey of leaving his 9-5 to make his dreams a reality in his new book, "Handcrafted."

Portrait of Fixer Upper Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines with clients Kelly and Clint Harp in their new living room, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper. (portrait)

Photo by: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

It all started with a chance run-in with Chip Gaines at a Waco gas station. But it was Clint Harp's own choice to take a leap of faith that would truly change his life forever. HGTV editors recently sat down with Clint to talk about his journey and what readers can expect from his new book, Handcrafted.

Q: What inspired you to write Handcrafted?

A: "I wanted to share my story because I think a lot of people see Chip and Jo and myself and everybody else on HGTV and they automatically think ‘Oh, those people already have it together. Oh, those people have so much. Oh, he’s got all the tools and money he needs. Everything just worked out for them.’ The reality is that it didn’t always work out. And still things don’t always work out. But you take the opportunities you get, you see where they’re gonna take you next, and you do your best in that moment.

"I did an interview today for a podcast and [the interviewer] pointed out, he was like, 'You know, that moment at the gas station where you met Chip, you were at your bottom, you felt like it was time to go get another job, it’s time to figure something else out,' and he said 'It strikes me that you could have said, no. I’m just gonna go and get another job. But you saw Magnolia on the side of a truck and I’m just gonna talk to him and see where it goes' I could have quit that day. I could have said this is stupid, I just need to go get another job, but I decided to put one more foot in front of the other. Try one more time. And I’m so glad that I did, obviously because it’s led to a lot of awesome stuff. And that’s why I wrote the book. Because I hope that people will read that and realize that when you feel like it’s all over and like you have no more hope, sometimes that opportunity is right around the corner. If you don’t give up you could discover that amazing things are right there."

Q: You’ve said the journey to becoming a master carpenter wasn’t always an easy one. Share some of the obstacles you encountered and how you overcame them.

A: "One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had in doing this is fear. Fear of losing things. The fear of being a guy that my wife would look at and go ‘you’re a crazy person, and I don’t know if you’re the right person for me.’ Honestly, it wasn’t fair for me to see my wife as someone who would leave because I wanted to try something. But I had this fear of losing my family, I really did. I thought by chasing this dream, this thing inside me, that I would look so stupid that even my wife would look at me in a different light. And that’s how crippling fear can get.

Kelly and Clint Harp, as seen on Against the Grain.

Photo by: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

"The truth is that my wife wanted nothing more than for me to be the truest person that I can possibly be. The reality is that my wife wanted me to go for my dreams and wanted me to be honest with myself and with her about what I really wanted out of life. She wanted that. She wanted that for me, she wanted it for herself and she wanted it for our kids just like I do.

Q: You quit a nine-to-five job to realize your dream, and it paid off big. What advice would you give others when it comes to exploring their passions and taking a leap of faith?

A: "I don’t want anybody to be confused that I just woke up one day and decided to quit my job. This was something that I thought long and hard about. I wrote down visions, and mission statements and business plans and things like that. Things that I never even look at now but I put it down on paper, I thought about it, I cried about it, I prayed about it, I dreamed about it. You know I talked about it to friends and family, or whoever it might be, and I did finally make that decision to jump. But it wasn’t like I just went into it blindly, I knew.

"I was very aware of the reality and the possibility of things that could come my way should things go south. I was aware that we could lose all of our money. I was aware that some dude could pull up in front of my house with a tow truck and repossess my car if I didn’t make my car payment. I was aware that I could lose our house, that I could default on student loans, that I could have bad credit, all of those things. And we fought really hard for those things not to happen. But what we didn’t do was keep those things from allowing us to go for our dreams.

"If I could go back and do it again, I would do the same thing, which was be fully aware, eyes wide open that it’s not gonna be easy. That there are gonna be days when you want to quit. There were days when I wanted to quit, and I wrote about this extensively in the book in multiple chapters. I applied for jobs from the moment I quit my job in Houston through the shooting of the pilot of Fixer Upper. I was so scared that it wasn’t gonna work out. But none of those applications got returned and I didn’t get a job, thankfully.

"That was my reality. There were still days when I was scared like crazy. And it wasn’t easy. So don’t jump into it thinking it’s all roses and a walk in the park. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but it is a life of adventure and I think amazing things start to happen when you put yourself in a position where things basically have to happen. It’s difficult, it’s trying, it’s stressful, but it can also be one of those most rewarding things you’ll ever do, and it will also lead to the things that are the most right for you in life. And that’s the only place I wanna be."

Handcrafted is available for purchase now. A list of retailers is available on the official website.

Meet Clint in person at one of the stops on his book tour:

Thursday, October 4 – Plano, TX
Barnes & Noble @ 7:00 pm
801 W 15th St E, Plano, TX 75075

Friday, October 5 – Woodway, TX
H-E-B @ 4:00 pm
9100 Woodway Dr, Woodway, TX 76712

Saturday, October 6 – Arlington, TX
Mardel @ 1:00 pm
4652 S Cooper St, Arlington, TX 76017

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