hard work quotes

22 Hard Work Quotes to Help You Persevere In Every Situation

If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers“, you’ll come to know that it takes 10,000 hours of hard work and training to become an expert in your field. Staying motivated, and continuing strong on your road to success, however, is difficult. What follows are hard work quotes and sayings that can help keep, kick start, or inspire you to stay motivated.

Hard Work Quotes to Help You Stay Motivated

Hard work is such a broad term and encompasses many different aspects of pursuing and achieving your goals. This post is broken down into categories that either contribute to, or are a part of, developing good work ethic.

Working Hard

There are no secrets to success, or to doing well. There are no short cuts you can take. If you want to achieve something, you have to put in the effort.

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

Stephen King (Author)

There may be more people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.

Derek Jeter (Athlete)

So basically, hard work beats talent.

Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.

Kevin Hart (Actor and Comedian)

It’s not about money or connections – it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.

Mark Cuban (Shark Tank Entrepreneur)

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

― Thomas A. Edison

If you embrace hard work and develop a good work ethic, you’ll succeed. Some may phrase this as “paying your dues”. I think it means that through hard work you’ll learn everything you need to as well in order to achieve what you’re aiming for.

Working Smart

On the flip side, achieving success isn’t just about hard work and ambition. You can work hard and sweat and still make little progress. You also have to work smart – you have to find ways to be productive and make progress without killing yourself. There is something to be said about efficiency.

You also have to keep your eyes open for opportunities. With each step you take in life, or in your career, you should be expanding your network, learning new skills, and looking for ways to move up, or improve. While these efforts provide more abstract results, they are just as important for progress.

The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.

Thomas A. Edison (Inventor)

Focus on being productive instead of busy.

Tim Ferriss (Author of 4 Hour Work Week)

Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you are being productive


We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”

Arianna Huffington (Founder of Huffpost)

Dedication and Focus

I interpret this as doing your very best. You can’t do your best if you aren’t focused and don’t give it your all.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”  

Vince Lombardi (Football coach)

“Dedication is the hours we put in when nobody’s watching.”


The question isn’t who’s going to let me. It’s who’s going to stop me

Ayn Rand (Author)


Having it in you to keep going and to keep trying…to never give up, is key.

Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.

Dwayne Johnson (Actor)

Your job is not always going to fulfill you. There will be some days that you just might be bored. Other days, you may not feel like going to work at all. Go anyway, and remember that your job is not who you are, it’s just what you are doing on the way to who you will become.”

Oprah (TV personality)

I’ll add to Oprah’s quote that there will be parts of doing what you love, that you will have to do what you hate. Being able to get through the parts you hate can be your proof that you truly love the rest.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Confucius (Philosopher)

It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Rocky Balboa (Movie character legend)


To gain something, you will have to give up something….or maybe divide your attention. Priorities shift when you are pursuit of something you want. Unfortunately, this shift can last a long time.

Sacrifice: If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”


“It’s what you let go of that determines how high you fly.”


I think these two sums it up nicely. Most quotes I’ve read on sacrifice also allude to taking chances and taking risks. Sometimes the sacrifice is you leaving your comfort zone for the unknown.

Working Through Imposter Syndrome

This affects both men and women. I think in some ways it may even be a natural part of growing and learning, which is exactly what hard work and sacrifice teach you. At some point on our path, we experience that feeling that we just aren’t good enough…imposter syndrome. That feeling can be suffocating and make you want to quit. However, it’s important to remember that what you’re feeling isn’t necessarily what people see and that if you keep going you will come out on the other side much better for having experienced it.

Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.

Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx)

I think that’s the best quote I’ve found that relates to imposter syndrome. We get so fearful of making mistakes, or being perceived as not good enough, that we miss the opportunity to look for the silver lining. Maybe we don’t know enough, and maybe that’s an opportunity to think outside the box. Maybe what we perceive as weakness is actually a strength.


Whenever you try anything new, or aim for something that no one has ever done, you may fail. In fact, you probably will. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue on.

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

JK Rowling (Author)

Failure is not just a part of life, it’s a part of experiencing life. I was raised to avoid failure; however, I’ve come to see that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you take it as a chance to learn and do better next time. Adjust your mindset so that you aren’t afraid to fail, and you’re ready to get back up if you do!

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

Henry Ford (Entrepreneur)

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston S. Churchill (Former Prime Minister of Great Britain)

Final Thoughts on Hard Work Quotes

The whole idea behind reading some quotes is that you’ll hopefully find it inspiring and motivating. It can be really difficult to keep trucking along. Life gets in the way, obstacles come in front of us, countless people will tell you that you can’t do it, and you yourself may find it difficult to continue to believe in yourself.

Part of success though is to deal with all of that. As I mentioned before, there are no short cuts. Hard work and determination are the only way to achieve what you want. Quitting isn’t an option if you want to succeed.

Bear in mind that everyone’s definition of success is also different! Don’t compare your journey to anyone else, or your goals to that of others.

No matter where you are in life, it’s also never too late to start.

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