I just finished reading, “The Magnolia Story” about HGTV Fixer Upper superstars, Chip and Joanna Gaines.

The sweet friend that loaned the book my way knew I’m not a TV watcher and that I really was clueless on what the entire buzz was about.

Good to Go with Patti Beth has a group tour to San Antonio and Waco with a visit to the Magnolia Market this May. I get it now. And now I’m a fan.

It doesn’t have as much to do with the way they fix up, but more about their story and the big picture.

These two crazy kids decided to follow their hearts. They knew what brought them joy. They knew what they loved to do and figured out a way to make a living at it.

A good living. Not without highs and lows and laughs and tears, but money to live the way they dreamed. I love that. They loved their hometown of Waco, Texas and had plenty of opportunities to leave, but they stayed to raise their children there. I love that.

Lots of money was risked and gained, but at the heart of the projects was the desire to make life better for others. The little low income houses they “flipped” to help college students or singles brought them joy in providing homes. I love that.

They became mentors along the way, hiring, teaching, giving back to the neighborhood kids with time and energy. I love that.

So I still don’t have shiplap on my walls or a gate over my couch, but I have an appreciation for the Gaines. Small business owners are the American dream.

To be your own boss seems to be the best part, but like Magnolia, our travel business gives us the chance to decide where the money goes.

As the owner, president, go-fer and flunky, I get to decide where the dollars are spent. I enjoy finding other small businesses, whether it’s a restaurant, or an off-the-beaten-path attraction to patronize. I love that. I enjoy hearing people’s stories, how life has gotten them where they are.

I like to take people to meet people, whether it is in our Oklahoma backyard or across the globe. The world is a smaller, more homey place when you have friends around each corner. I love that.

I look for opportunities to give back when we visit, it may be school supplies, or a small donation, but something that promotes friendship with a dose of Southern Hospitality.

The magnolia is traditional symbol in the south representing nobility, perseverance, strength, and pure love. The huge flower bursts from the tiny bud and makes a big impression. I love that.

Here’s to the Chip and Joanna Gaines of the world. To all the small business owners that are following their hearts desires to do more than just to make money. Here’s to those that love their hometowns and want to make a difference in others lives.

Let us all remember to look for the “ Magnolias” as we travel, for they have the right idea.

Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or pb@goodtogowithpb.com.