Our Favorites: Famous Hard Work Quotes

Below is a collection of our favorite quotes about hard work, making your own luck through hard work, and perseverance.  You will recognize some of the names from history, sports, pop culture, personal development, and business.  

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Either work hard, or you might as well quit.”
— MC Hammer


“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”


“When it comes to luck, you make your own.”
Bruce Springsteen


“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca, Spanish/Roman Philosopher


“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” — Tim Notke, high school basketball coach


“Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.” — Benjamin Franklin


“I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” — Denzel Washington


“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou


“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” — Pele, Brazilian soccer player


“I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.” — Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister


“You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”
— Alan Alda, Italian American actor


“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” — Sam Ewing, author


“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” — Steve Jobs


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


“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” — Booker T. Washington


“What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher


“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
Walter Elliot, British politician


“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” –Aristotle, Greek Philosopher


“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein


“Without labor, nothing prospers.”
Sophocles, Greek philosopher


“The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.” — Alexander Graham Bell

“I can say the willingness to get dirty has always defined us as a nation, and it’s a hallmark of hard work and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” — Mike Rowe, actor, and producer


“Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.”  — Lou Holtz


“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
Babe Ruth


“When you do more than you’ paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”
Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker

“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” – Ray Kroc


“Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”— Emily Dickinson


“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”
Zig Ziglar


“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.” — Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer


“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan


“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses — behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Muhammad Ali


“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”
Jeffrey Gitomer, author, speaker, & business trainer


“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” — Thomas Edison

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson


“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill


“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Vidal Sassoon, hairdressing business tycoon


“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” — Colin Powell

“If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever. ”
—  Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” — Brian Tracy


“Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.”  Lou Holtz”


If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, `Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.