I couldn't think about anything else or stop myself from doing things to build my business: I would (and still do) work on my website for hours and hours. I kept reading DIY Musician articles for fun, practicing whenever I had a second, planning tour routes and researching venues. It was all I could do to remember to go hang out with friends or eat or leave the apartment. My 9-5 job was thankfully accepting of my multitasking, but I got frustrated that I couldn't put all of my focus into music during those 40hrs a week. I had to leave the workforce because any energy other tasks demanded felt like energy that I was stealing from my art, and therefore from myself.
Making the decision to actually leave was terrifying and it took me a long long time. I worked up to it by investing a lot of my own money in the team I hired to support and represent me, in paying for advertising so that I could count on a regular fanbase to show up to events, and I did something every person should do before making a big change: I calculated exactly how much money I needed to make to stay alive, and honestly assessed my lifestyle to see what luxuries I could cut.
Right now, I buy nutritional shakes and Redd bars in bulk. Save for a few meals I've been treated to, that is all I eat, so I can feed myself for just $180/month. My studio apartment was $700/month, but I realized I don't really need an apartment, and I DO need to travel to do my work, so I gave up having my own bathroom and kitchen in exchange for a home I own outright. The only expenses are gas, maintenance and insurance, for under $500/month.
I do not have health insurance. My birth control is semi-permanent, so it is not a reoccurring bill. I do not spend money on booze (I get by with a little help from my friends), entertainment, or style. Right now, I'm looking at grants to help me continue to pay my team competitively and make advances in personal development. Money is tight, sure, but I took the approach of spending most of what I had on necessities in advance to float me for a few months so that I was not simultaneously white-knuckling it to survive and also trying to create something meaningful.
The best thing you can do is make a list of what is essential to your lifestyle: it might be music, a vehicle, shelter, food, haircuts, medical expenses, education, carousing with friends, Naptime, reading etc and then figure out how many of those things really REQUIRE that you spend money on them so you know precisely how much you HAVE to make each month. You will make your goal because there is no other option. You will always find a way to make it to another creative day. It's never ever as hard as you fear.
And once you've tasted true freedom, you will wonder why so few people are trying it.
3/28 Portland, ME
3/29 Chennai, India
3/30 Chennai, India
3/31 Chennai, India
4/1 Chennai, India
4/2 Chennai, India