Just recently, I took inventory of all of the music business "stuff" that I do on my own - stuff that isn't always music, but is essential to making a career by it. Over the last three years, I've learned quite a bit about graphic design, web design, PR, advertising, product development, product pricing, radio promotion, computer hardware, concert booking, internet radio, digital and physical music distribution, merchandising, engineering, producing, and a ton of other things. And now, I've decided to start screen printing my own T-shirts and other merch - I think.
Beginning a new "area of study" always reignites this looming question that I always have: is learning "this" (whatever it may be: web design, radio promotion, etc.) going to be worth my time and effort? Because every minute I spend working on this new "thing" is one more minute that I'm not spending directly on my music - I'm not on a stage; I'm not creating a new song; and I'm not making a new record.
I think it's a good practice to sit down every once in a while to figure out if the things that you're doing are bringing you closer to, or distracting you from, your goals. And that's where I'm at today. Will learning how to screen print help me to earn a living performing, recording, and writing music? Maybe. With all of this "stuff", the answer to the question, really, is simply "I just don't know if this is going to be worth my time and effort."
And guess what? I think that's okay. I've learned to trust in something bigger than myself - that if something is meant to be, it's going to happen. And, most likely, it will happen by means completely contrary to how I would have thought they should happen - just to demonstrate to me that I was never the one in control of my future anyhow. And the result will be good. Every time.
And so I press on, trusting that my God-given desires and abilities, coupled with opportunity, and approval from wise friends, will lead me down the right road. Happy screening!