Most people consider their profession and their business to be one and the same thing. When it comes to personal finances, though, there’s a difference:

Your profession is whatever you do 40 hours a week to pay the bills, buy groceries, and cover other living costs. Usually, it gives you a specific title such as “restaurant owner ”or “salesman.”

Your business, on the other hand, is what you invest time and money in to help grow your assets.

Because a profession only covers your expenses, it’s unlikely that this alone will make you wealthy. To achieve wealth, you must build a business while working at your profession.

Take, for example, a chef who’s gone to culinary arts school and knows all the tricks of the trade. Although her profession – cooking – provides enough money to pay rent and feed her family, she’s still not growing wealthy.

So she invests in a business: real estate. Whatever extra money she has each month, she puts towards buying income-producing assets – apartments and condos she can rent to tenants.

Alternatively, consider a car salesman who invests each month’s leftover income into stock trading.

In both cases, the professions provided enough income to survive on a monthly basis. However, by putting their extra income into their businesses, these people are also growing their assets and making strides toward wealth.

Your profession often funds your business initially; therefore, it’s wise to keep your day job until your business starts to show sustainable growth.

When that starts to happen, your assets – and not your profession – become your main source of income.

And that, indeed, is the sign of true financial independence.

Your profession pays the bills, but your business is what will make you wealthy.