Improvements in thought patterns, general optimism, peace of mind, emotional resilience coupled with good physical health and a social life are where acres of diamonds are found.
More money, more business, and otherwise more financial improvements may be illusions in standard of living improvements. Many improvements are independent of external resources.
Resourcefulness, peace of mind, and perhaps the emotional stability (I.e. thriving beyond finances) may be examples of true independence. Independence is a mindset. Freedom is a mindset.