Find Motivation in everything good or bad, it’s hard when you get told no your you get turned down because someone doesn’t like your music or your style the world can be a scary place for an artist, and you must learn how to take all the negative and flip it into something positive learn from every situation.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cotter Hill.
Cotter Hill recently was in the studio preparing for his music video for his upcoming single “Good For Me” which came out on June 4th, Written by Billboard-charting country writers Hunter Phelps (Chris Lane #1 hit “I Don’t Know About You,” Florida Georgia Line) and Arlis Albritton (Luke Bryan, Parmalee), the song will be part of his upcoming EP coming out later in the year.
Combining sounds reminiscent of Eric Church’s “Springsteen” and Wallen’s “Chasin’ You” with lyrics reminiscent of a Kenny Chesny island song, “Good for Me” has that “windows down, country music on the radio” feel.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Thank you for talking with me! Let’s start with where I’m from I was born and raised in Cleveland, Tennessee. I’m the youngest of five I have three sisters and one brother even though there are some age gaps between us we have always been close. Believe it or not growing up I was extremely shy and for the longest time I would only talk to my mother it took me until about 19 years old till I overcame it. I grew up being involved in almost every sport but throughout the years I stuck with baseball and fell in love with the sport and played it all through my childhood and high school. Then at about the age of 11 I really took interest in music and guitar, so my parents got me my first guitar and signed me up for lessons which I took for about two years then continued to learn on my own. I also played in concert band in middle school where I played trumpet for two years. In high school I changed things up a little and played guitar in a few rock bands with some friends, that’s how we spent most of our summers. Until life took us all different directions.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I’ve always really liked the simple quote from Chet Atkins “You shape your own destiny”. I feel like when someone is set out and chasing a dream or a goal in their career, there is always someone that will simply get in your way whether it’s on purpose or just by concern that you aren’t making the right choices for your future. And sometimes you feel like you should listen to them. I think you should always hear what everyone has to say but how you interrupt is up to you, you can either let their words stop you from making the life you want or from reaching the goals you desire, or you can take their words and use them as motivation and truly shape your own destiny and accomplish everything you put your mind to.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
First off, my Family and my Faith in God would be number one on the list without that I have no idea where I would be in life.
Number two would be learning how to not give up and not settling till you feel accomplished.
lastly and I say it all the time but being true to myself I feel like everyone needs to learn that if they haven’t already. I feel it’s a huge key in finding success in anything you want to do in life.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
Well prior to chasing the dream of music I had my mind set on other careers only because going back to the second question about the life quote. I used to let people tell me or I would tell myself that I couldn’t make a career out of a crazy dream such as music. I worked numerous jobs growing up from construction to selling shoes and cell phone accessories. I tried going to college multiple times once to study Veterinary Medicine because I have such a love for animals but come to find out that wasn’t for me because the stress from it made me not want to come home to my own pets and it wasn’t fair to them. I also tried studying business and started working in the insurance field but quickly found that miserable and realized it wasn’t for me. Everything I tried to do always got canceled by my love for music and I just kept circling back around to music and I realized that it needed to be a part of my life and no matter what anyone told me or what I told myself I knew I had to put my head down and just work as hard as I could to make that dream a reality. I always asked myself what else would I do that would Make me as happy as music does and quickly found out that nothing else would make me that happy.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter of moving to Nashville?
I had to learn how to be confident in myself. Especially in my music moving to Nashville was a huge step for me it really made me come out of my shell and I had to learn how to adapt I had to learn how to network and connect with people which was hard for me at first because growing up I never had any reason to do so. This is a town where everyone is better than the next but what I learned is that what you bring to the table as an artist or a writer and how hard you are willing to work is what is most important in surviving in this town and that is what truly makes you the artist you need and want to be. I had to find my trustiest self and it took some time to do so.
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
Well going through life just like anyone else in this crazy world we all go through ups and downs and what we make out of those moments is what makes each of us so special. I went through some life changes from relationship to just growing and finding myself as a person. So, after trying to shape my life for other people and always putting others before myself and seeing that fail, I realized I needed to take a step back and reevaluate my life and myself. So those life changes in a sense gave me the confidence I needed to get out of my comfort zone and make the move that I never thought I would make and purse a career in music like I always knew I wanted to do.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers? (In this case, your own musical talent)
Growing up I always had the love of music and knew deep down I wanted to do it for a living. I always had so much support from family and friends but as we know sometimes, they just like to tell you it’s good even when it’s not. So, when I started to get out and play live shows and share my music and songwriting with strangers and hearing their input and love for my songs it really made me realize that “hey maybe I can do this thing”. That’s where I learned to be confident in my music and myself and to overcome those barriers.
How are things going with this new initiative (your move to Nashville and pursuing music)? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.
Things have been so amazing since I’ve been in Nashville. There have been some experiences I never thought I would have. I was very blessed early on to be able to travel the country with some friends, I started selling merchandise for their band and later I started opening the shows acoustic for them and playing some amazing venues. I have also had the opportunity to work with some amazing musicians and producers and record in some great studios one of them being Southern Ground with is Zac Browns studio.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Besides my band mates, producer, and management. I’m going to have to say my mother and Father, I’m so beyond blessed to have such amazing parents who understand me and support me in all I do. If it wasn’t for them, I would never have made it to Nashville nor would I still be able to be here doing what I love. They have helped me in so many ways and have coached me through so much in life, I own them everything!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
The most interesting thing to me since I’ve been in Nashville is “Me” and that’s in a non-selfish way because seeing how I’ve grown as a person and as a musician I never actually thought I would be doing what I love or even talking with you guys about my life. You must learn how to be proud of yourself sometimes. We all have it in our heads of how we want things to be, but it does always turn out that way. So, the most interesting thing to me would be the story of my life that seems to just keep falling into place and the people I’ve met along the way and the places it’s taken me.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
Oh, yea as an artist I feel like we all struggle and there are days even now that I still find myself struggling. When you write songs about stories that happened in your life and you build music around it, it becomes so special to you. But when it comes to sharing it with others you tend to not believe in so much and I feel that’s mainly because we fear how they will react or if they will even connect with the songs. I’ve learned how to overcome that by staying true to myself, my songs and not worrying about what people will say because in the end I write these songs and stories for me. And if those songs help other people through what they are going through whether its happy or sad, that’s a huge bonus that’s what makes music so special.
How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
My support system has always been my family they have always believed in me and in my music. So, when I told them I was going to make the move they were sad to see me go but they did anything and everything they could to help me. And still till this day they are still my biggest fans and support team!
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
Like we talked about in the first question I grew up extremely shy but as I fell in love with music, I knew I had to overcome that. That was the hardest thing to figure out and it was way beyond my comfort zone, but I knew I had a story to share, and I knew I couldn’t get it out to the world if I just sat at home in my comfort zone playing guitar and singing to myself.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
I would say I wish someone told me:
- It’s never going to be easy, the one thing I’ve learned that whatever your dreams are and how bad you want them it’s going to be the hardest thing to achieve in life.
- Learn as much as you can about music business, there is more of a business side to music than I ever thought there would be.
- Get a small circle of people who you can trust and help each other grow, I now have that circle but starting out I tried doing it by myself and its impossible.
- Never forget where you came from, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the mix and you forget to call or check in on those who were with you from the beginning.
- Find Motivation in everything good or bad, it’s hard when you get told no your you get turned down because someone doesn’t like your music or your style the world can be a scary place for an artist, and you must learn how to take all the negative and flip it into something positive learn from every situation.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I feel like the hunger issue throughout the world is and will always be a problem people have to deal with. Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing families and or children go without the proper nutrition that they need. I would very much so love to be a part of that and helping, I know myself and some others tend to take what we have for granted and we tend to forget about those in need, those who don’t have the resources that we are blessed to have.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
I would have to say I would love to have coffee with the King himself George Strait. I would want to know how it did it all, how he pulled through some of the hardest times in his life and stayed so focused on his family, music, and his career and how he keeps his career going for so long I would love to know what motivates him and his story.
How can our readers further follow your work?
They can Follow me on my socials all of them are @Cotterhillmusic. They can check out all my music and keep up with new music on Spotify, Apple Music or wherever they find music and they can keep up with shows and upcoming news at www.cotterhillmusic.com
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
Thank you so much for talking with me!