Rich dad poor dad chapter 3 summary (lesson 3 – Mind your own business)

Photo of author

By Stephen

Sharing is caring!

In this Rich Dad Poor Dad chapter 3 summary, I’ll break down Robert Kiyosaki’s best lessons for taking control of your financial life.

This critical chapter explains why you need to mind your own business, instead of just working for someone else’s business.

I’ll share key quotes, conversations, analysis and main points from Kiyosaki’s book to summarize the key lessons. You’ll learn why the rich focus on building assets while the poor and middle class focus on working for money.

I’ll overview the main points and encourage you to read Rich Dad Poor Dad to soak up Kiyosaki’s invaluable financial lessons for yourself.

Rich dad poor dad chapter 3 summary

Rich dad poor dad summary chapter 3 Lesson 3 – Mind Your Own Business 

Chapter 3 of Rich Dad Poor Dad is titled “Mind Your Own Business.” The author, Robert Kiyosaki, continues sharing his childhood story of receiving contrasting money advice from his two father figures.

Robert begins by sharing a story about Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, speaking to business students.

When asked what business he was in, Kroc said he wasn’t in the hamburger business but the real estate business. McDonald’s is the largest single owner of real estate worldwide. 

“Rich dad poor dad chapter 3 message is that to be financially secure, you need to mind your own business and focus on building your asset column rather than just working for money.”


Robert learned by his rich dad, that school trains youth to get jobs and develop professional skills that generate earned income.

But your profession is not the same as your own business. Many work hard their whole lives minding someone else’s business and have little wealth to show for it at the end.

Employees help make their bosses rich. The government takes much income through taxes. Banks collect mortgage and debt payments.

The poor and middle class work for everyone but themselves. They trade time for money and have expenses that match or exceed income.

The rich focus on accumulating income-generating assets. They make their money work for them through assets that produce cash flow whether they work or not.

The rich mind their own business. They spend less time on their jobs and more time building their asset columns.

Robert’ rich dad defines assets simply as something that puts money in your pocket. A liability takes money out.

Assets buy luxuries; liabilities buy luxuries. The rich acquire assets; the poor acquire liabilities they think are assets.

Rich Dad said:

“If you want to be rich, you need to mind your own business.” 

He emphasized that entrepreneurs depend on themselves while employees depend on companies or governments. Employees trade time for money but business owners make money work for them.


Rich Dad said:

“Keep this up and you’ll be millionaires someday.”

But Robert’s Poor Dad was appalled. He said:

“The worst thing you can do is be an entrepreneur. Get back to school and focus on your studies so you can get a safe, secure job.”

Poor Dad believed entrepreneurship was too risky. He valued the safety of a paycheck, pension and benefits over the freedom and wealth creation potential of owning a business.

As the boys got older, Rich Dad continued teaching them to mind their own business by starting small ventures like the comic book lending library. These provided hands-on experience and setbacks to learn from. 

Rich Dad said: 

“The entrepreneur fails fast, but learns quickly from each failure. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward.”

In contrast, Poor Dad encouraged Robert to be a good employee instead of an entrepreneur. He said:

“Go to school, get good grades, and look for a safe, secure job with a strong company. Work hard and climb the corporate ladder.” 

By high school, Robert observed that his poor dad classmates were already resigned to a life of being employees. They saw job titles as defining their identity and status. The “entrepreneurship class” was not popular.

Meanwhile, the rich kids understood they would likely need to take over their family businesses someday. Or they would start their own. Their conversations revolved around concepts like return on investment, cash flow and assets.

Robert reflects that schools do not teach much about owning a business. Academics have often never run a business themselves. Students are groomed to be workers, not entrepreneurs. 

As Robert approached college graduation, Poor Dad kept pushing him to get a corporate job. But Rich Dad encouraged Robert to start his own business. Robert decided to follow Rich Dad’s advice.

In his mid-20s, Robert started a company. It struggled at first but soon became successful. Within a few years, his income surpassed what his Poor Dad peers earned in their corporate jobs. 

Poor Dad remained risk averse, advising Robert:

“Don’t blow this opportunity. Climb the corporate ladder and rack up those retirement benefits.” 

But Robert realized he could never achieve true wealth solely by trading time for money as an employee. Owning a profitable business provides income and assets.

Rich Dad’s advice to “mind your own business” had set Robert on the entrepreneurial path early on. He learned to take risks, embrace setbacks, and make money work for him rather than working for money.

Also read: Rich Dad Poor Dad Chapter 1 Summary (Lesson 1: The Rich Don’t Work For Money)


Some key lessons:

“Financial struggle is often the result of people working all their lives for someone else.” Mind your own business by owning income-producing assets.

“Start minding your own business. Keep your daytime job, but start buying real assets, not liabilities.” Slowly build your asset column.

“The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.” Strive to make your money work for you.

Robert recommends first starting small side businesses while keeping your day job for earned income. Gain experience converting earned income into passive and portfolio income. Trade time for learning, not just money. 

As your asset column grows, income from it begins covering expenses. Once your passive income exceeds your costs, you are financially independent. The more money you reinvest into assets, the more your income grows. Each dollar in your asset column should be an employee working for you.

The middle class struggles because they have no asset cushion when income drops. They try to save more, work more, or reduce expenses, but their cash flow problem remains. The solution is acquiring assets that generate income.

The poor often try to look rich by buying luxuries on credit like big houses, cars, and jewelry. But the rich build assets first, then use that income to buy luxuries debt-free. Don’t impulsively buy status symbols unless you can truly afford them.

In Robert’s words, “Start minding your own business. Keep your daytime job, but start buying real assets, not liabilities.”

Make your money work hard for you 24/7 through assets that generate cash flow. Then you can work because you want to, not because you have to.

Robert concludes that schools condition youth to be employees bound to the “rat race” of trading labor for income.

To break free, you must own income-producing assets and learn to mind your own business. Then you gain financial freedom and escape the fears that limit most people’s wealth potential.


Rich dad poor dad lesson 3

Here is the brief summary of rich dad poor dad lesson 3 with key points and analysis of Chapter 3 – Mind Your Own Business:


Chapter 3 – Mind Your Own Business is part of Rober Kiyosaki’s bestselling book Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Published in 1997, the book draws on Robert’s personal experiences growing up with two father figures – his educated but financially struggling biological father (“poor dad”), and his best friend’s wealthy entrepreneur father (“rich dad”) who served as his mentor.

The book highlights different attitudes towards money, investing, and entrepreneurship. 

The main purpose of Chapter 3 is to explain the importance of building assets and focusing on your own business rather than just working for someone else’s company and relying on your salary.

The Rich dad poor dad lesson 3 is: “Financial struggle is often the result of people working all their lives for someone else, instead of building assets and focusing on their own business.”

Main Points

1. Robert shares a story about McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc explaining to business students that McDonald’s is not really in the hamburger business but rather the real estate business.

The most important assets are the locations of its franchises. This demonstrates focusing on assets rather than just income.

2. Our current educational system teaches professional skills to get good jobs and salaries, leading people to work for others and focus on their income statements rather than assets. 

To be financially secure, you need to mind your own business by building assets. 

3. There is a difference between your profession and your business.

Your profession is what you do for money, while your business should involve acquiring assets that generate income. 

4. Many people make the mistake of only working for money and having nothing left at the end.

The rich focus on assets, while the poor focus only on salary. Common advice like getting raises and promotions still has you working for someone else.

5. Most people’s assets like houses and cars actually cost them money each month and aren’t true assets. Banks and accounting practices can mislead people about their net worth.

6. To mind your own business, keep your profession but use extra income to buy real assets: businesses you own but don’t run, stocks, real estate, notes, royalties, etc. Buy what you understand and love.

7. Educated professionals often play it safe financially and have no foundations. The middle class buy luxuries on credit rather than assets. The rich buy luxuries last.


Key Supporting Evidence

  • To illustrate assets vs. professions, Robert provides a personal example: The bank would not loan him money because they did not like his lucrative real estate investments, instead favoring traditional employment. This demonstrates flawed banking practices that overlook assets.
  • Robert argues that listing personal items like electronics and clothes as “assets” on financial statements is misleading. Their value drops significantly once they leave the store. This supports focusing on assets that appreciate rather than depreciate. 


Robert argues definitively that the key to wealth is to mind your own business by developing assets outside of your professional career.

This may require keeping your day job for income at first. While controversial, his harsh critique of traditional education and career paths as failing to create true financial security resonated with many readers.

However, his vague definition of “assets” is simplistic, failing to account for liquidity, risk, and other complex factors.

His personal anecdotes need more rigorous supporting evidence. Nonetheless, his overarching message to build alternative income sources remains sound financial advice.


Relevance today:

– With job market turmoil, people see need to diversify income streams – timely message.

– Critique of traditional education remains salient as student debt soars. 

– However, conditions have changed since 1997 publication – updates needed.

– The gig economy and entrepreneurship are now more mainstream.


Rich dad poor dad chapter 3 argues that the key to building wealth is to focus on acquiring assets – especially businesses you own that generate income – rather than working solely for a salary.

Robert advocates maintaining your day job for income but using extra funds to buy appreciating assets and start side businesses based on your interests and knowledge.

He is highly critical of the traditional path of education leading to corporate jobs and salaries, with little left over.

While provocative, his claims about mindsets of different classes are broad generalizations. Yet his core message to own income producing assets rings true, though his definition of assets is simplistic.

For motivating financial independence, the book was impactful for many. But updates are needed in our evolved economy.

Also read: Rich Dad Poor Dad Chapter 2 Summary (Lesson 2: Why Teach Financial Literacy?)



  • Stephen

    Stephen is a professional blogger, a freelance writer and a traveler with expertise in personal finance and business. He has over 10 years of experience in the finance industry and a passion for helping others gain financial freedom on all aspects of money management, financial growth, and building wealth. Do follow him on Twitter.

    View all posts

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment