Listen on –
I’m am so happy to be able to bring you all a conversation with Bobby Horton. He’s one of the nicest, most genuine people I know. As I mentioned in the interview, I first met him when we played with him in the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and I was just struck by how infectious his positive demeanor was. The whole entire conversation with him is wonderful, but here are some things that stood out to me as important from my chat with him:
Don’t Dive All In Until You’re Ready
In the episode, Bobby talks about how when he graduated from school, he had an accounting degree. He started working in a non-musical career, but he found himself acquiring more and more performing jobs that made him good money on the side. When he had his first child, he decided he couldn’t stay as busy as he was because he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to spend as much time as he wanted with his son. Bobby quit his day job, and started working in music full time.
Although he followed his dream, Bobby stressed that he was very intentional about how he did it. He didn’t dive into his music career until he saw that he could support his family with his musical career. In the episode he says, “If you can see a vision, and when things are in place, you’ll know when to pull the trigger”. I think this is important advice, and also very encouraging to anyone out there who is currently working a day job and trying to build a music career.
The book Atomic Habits by James Clear talks about how much of the work done in order to be successful happens, and it’s only when you cross the Plateau of Latent Potential, as he calls it, is when you really begin to see all the efforts take hold in the form of success.
I hadn’t read this book when I interviewed Bobby, but man, this is a prime example of what he’s talking about. Burning the candle at both ends, building up all that latent potential.. it all lead up to the moment that Bobby knew he could cross over and do music full time. It may have looked simple from the outside, but Bobby speaks about the real difficulties that come with following your passion. It’s a lot of hard work, but Bobby is an example that it is possible.
Make Sure Your Motivations Are Pure
Bobby talked at length about how projects he pursued because he thought they would make money never ended up panning out too well. As he says, “If you do something just to make money, it never, ever works. But if you do something that’s worthy, and it’s good, and there’s a need there, then money chases it”.
In the episode he gives an example of how he did a project with Doug and Dorry Eldon from Corvallis, Oregon. They wanted to produce a series of songs Doug wrote to teach kids about science in a fun and engaging way. Bobby believed in the worthiness of that project, and went on to say that the income that came from that project helped put his kids through college. He didn’t chase money, he did something good, and money chased him.
Life is a process
This last point is simple, but it’s always great to be reminded that life is a process. You can’t plan what will happen with your life, you can only do the best with what you have and where you are at. Bobby says many times in the episode that great opportunities just “fell into his lap”. That may be true, but the truth is that he had experiences dating back to his grade school years that prepared him to be ready for those great opportunities.
As I mentioned, Bobby is just a wonderful person, and I think that really comes through in this conversation. I hope you enjoy getting to know him while listening to this episode. Here are some links to check out if you want to know more about Bobby:
Bobby’s website – https://www.bobbyhorton.com/
Three On A String’s website – https://www.threeonastring.com/
For this Spotify playlist, I included two albums that Bobby has made. One is titled “Homespun Songs of the Great Smoky Mountains”, the other is titled “Homespun Songs of 19th Century America”. Bobby’s love of music and history are coming together to preserve historic music and make it accessible to all of us. Check out his work!
(I just learned by accident you can just put the playlist directly into the post)
Until next time,