Does Hard Work Pay off in the End? (25 Great Answers)

Some days we feel like a hundred percent—ready to take over the world, and other days we don’t even feel like getting out of bed.

If you’re one of the many who feels exactly like this, don’t worry, being a hard worker doesn’t come naturally.

It takes time to develop certain qualities and characteristics to become one. It is through consistency, commitment, effort, and perseverance that you can fully mature into becoming a hard worker and making full use of your potential.

When in doubt, always remember this quote by Colin Powell, “A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”

To get you motivated even more, here are some experts’ thoughts to the question “Does hard work pay off in the end?

Ian McClarty


President & CEO, PhoenixNAP Global IT Services

Do whatever it takes to reach the top, even if it’s years away

There must be something strange going on in the world today. More and more opportunities are being created in technology and business in general. However, the wealth gap only increases. So why is it that the people at the top seem to be doing better than ever? Is it because of hard work?

I have been putting a lot of thought into this lately. Hard work earlier in your career is something that people in business who are new and fresh seem to look down upon. They expect everything to come to them from the first day. I can’t entirely agree with that perspective. I think that it is worth it to pay your dues.

Please don’t get me wrong. You should absolutely be paid what you’re worth. However, if the business you are working in has a hard time understanding what you are worth to them, then you need to ask yourself why.

The reason could be that you might not be offering as much value as you think. Another reason could be that you have not been there long enough for them to trust you.

You see, hard work is not just about paying your dues as some vague tradition. It is a more profound symbol, ingrained in our society because most of the time it’s a pretty good indicator of what kind of employee, entrepreneur, or leader you will be in the long run.

There are multiple models you can use to prove that hard work does pay off, eventually. First of all, ask any CEO what they did to reach the top. Often times, they will tell you stories of how they spent years at the bottom, working their way up.

Other people might not have even been in the corporate world. In fact, some people choose to work an odd-job or another day job. Then, after years of slaving away and saving everything they make, they start their own company. They get to be the boss from day one because they control the capital.

I hope when you’re reading this, you don’t confuse my opinion by saying that ‘smart work’ is not valuable too. The key is to combine them. It would be best if you did not throw your life away for a company that you do not believe in. But if you know you are in the right field, with the right people, at the right company, then it’s time to commit.

Do whatever it takes to reach the top, even if it’s years away.

G. Brian Benson


Author, “Habits For Success – Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar” | Coach | TEDx Speaker | Radio Personality | Actor | 4x Ironman Triathlete

Working smart is just as important as working hard

I think hard work definitely pays off. Pretty much anyone who has accomplished anything has had to work hard to achieve their goal. There are plenty of examples that’s for sure. Some of the more extreme examples are English novelist John Creasey received 753 rejections slips before he went on to publish 564 books and Thomas Edison who made 10,000 attempts to perfect the light bulb.

These are both amazing stories of hard work, perseverance, and trust, of following a dream and doing everything possible to make it happen.

With that being said, I think working smart is just as important as working hard. It’s as simple as it sounds. Watch and learn from those who’ve done it before you. See what is working for them. More than likely they learned from someone else as well. While there is something to be said about learning from our own mistakes, why not save some frustration and time by implementing tried and true habits, routines and ideas?

I am not telling folks to not work hard. If you want to achieve anything of value, it will require hard work and more than likely lots of it. But I see the value in and love to teach people how to be more efficient and aware of how they are spending their time working.

I used to be one of those people that would just go, go, go and find my validation from over-working. There was something sickly satisfying about overworking myself. It’s where I got my self-esteem. But it was an unhealthy foundation that I had created and I would crash and burn for short periods of time.

As I became more self-aware and paid attention to the fact that I wasn’t really moving forward despite all of the hard work, I became hyper-aware of learning how to work smarter and more efficiently.

So, while hard work definitely does pay off, I think of blending of working hard and working smarter is the perfect recipe!

Shawn Breyer


Owner, Breyer Home Buyers

The aspect of hard work paying off comes on the days you don’t feel like showing up

No matter what you do, your choices are developing habits. When you have a bad day, showing up 100% isn’t what’s important. Take working out for example. None of us really want to do it and we always have tough days that make it easy not to go to the gym.

Frankly, it’s easier to skip and go when you’re feeling more rested and energized. Eventually, continuously skipping because it’s easier to is more likely to result in you missing more and more days, eventually leading to you not going anymore.

On the other hand, if you just show up on the tough days and go through the workout, you condition yourself to go every day no matter what. Over time, those daily decisions will incrementally compound into a super healthy lifestyle. These decisions and work on the hard days will result in more energy and a longer, more fulfilling life.

Kamyar Shah

Kamyar Shah

Remote COO

Hard work can correlate to success

Without defining “hard work”, it is difficult to answer the question of its impact. Is the quantity of hours and an indicator of hard work? Does ROI reflect hard work?

Here are two ways to look at it:

  1. It depends on which stage of your career you are in. The basic dynamics of current organizational structures that are used by modern businesses tend to reduce the necessity of hard work with each stage of advancement. Without discussing the merit and/or viability of that particular approach, it is a fair statement to say: the higher the position, the lower the expectations of hard work.
  2. The above can also be seen from another perspective: the definition of hard work will constantly change based on how high the position goes; it can range from ROI to the output of the team that was being managed.

Ultimately, it is a rather subjective matter.

Hard work can correlate to success and make it worth if it is deliberately chosen to quantify efforts.

Cody Smith


Founder, PeerLoanAdvisor | Business Consultant | Entrepreneur | Singer-Songwriter

For me, hard work has certainly paid off

I have realized that I do not have a lot of natural ability in many of the things that interest me in life. This is unfortunate and has caused me grief. But eventually, I realized that I possessed three character traits that make virtually any reasonable goal attainable. Those traits are:

  1. Work Ethic
  2. Patience
  3. Perseverance

I have worked long hours at many things in my personal and professional life. In some cases, it took years or even decades to pay off. Thanks to the combination of the three traits mentioned above, I have been able to accomplish the things that are most important to me.

Here are some examples:

Love Life

The best example of hard work paying off is with finding my life partner. While some people may not consider this work, it was for me. The effort required to manage dating sites, blind dates and other methods of meeting people can be exhausting and it is not always fun. I spent countless hours just looking for the right women to go on dates with.

Then, the dates themselves were sometimes difficult with planning, long travel times, and ultimately spending an evening with someone I was not interested in. But after 25 years of dating, and hundreds of dates, I finally found the women that I will spend the rest of my life with. We were married in 2017, both of us for the first time.


I have had a successful career as a consultant and an HR professional. However, my true passion is entrepreneurship. I have had more ‘great’ ideas than I can count and have been able to pursue several. I started my first website in the mid-1990s. That led to other sites, one of which became successful with sales of over $2,000,000.

However, in addition to my day job I worked another 30+ hours per week for ten years at my own business to make it successful. I had to do everything from website coding to marketing to product reviews. I was constantly learning something new and just figuring things out. I was driven to succeed and eventually, my hard work brought me that success.


I have been playing the guitar and writing songs since I was 13 years old. However, due to a lack of manual dexterity and poor memory, I have come to realize that I will never be a great musician. Through hard work with lessons and daily practice I have achieved a level of proficiency that has allowed me to play in bands, and record and perform my own music.

It took over 5 years of practicing before I was able to play in a band. After over 20 years of playing, I released my first album. My second album came out several years later.

Khaleelah Jones


Founder & CEO, Careful Feet Digital Marketing Agency

Meet a goal and then set another

I’m only 30, so I’m not sure if I can see the “end“, as it were. That being said, I do think that the end is a moving target, and as such, having the mindset that hard work will “pay off” is more than likely a one-way ticket to burn out.

I think of it like this: I’m happy to sprint if I know there’s a finish line, but if the finish line continues to get pushed back, I run out of gas, and fairly quickly- not only from a purely physical perspective but because it is demotivating to be running with no clearly defined finish line.

I’m a first-generation college graduate and now have a Ph.D. and an MBA. I am also a business owner and do well for myself. No one else in my immediate family can say this. However, I am friends with many people who are in my position or even better off, and while some are very hard workers, more are very fortunate in that they were born or married into affluent families.

I’m where I am because of hard work, absolutely. But there will always be people who are much further ahead- and perhaps they’ve worked hard, perhaps they haven’t, but they’ve undeniably had a much stronger running start.

With the goals and objectives I have for the future, there is no end; rather, I meet a goal and then set another.

So I continue to work hard, but I mete out my strength, not only because if I give it my all, all the time, there will be nothing left, but because there will always be people further along the line than myself, and I don’t want to let myself get discouraged by that. I have no idea how hard they’ve run and where their finish line is.

Candy Johnson Bellau

Founder & President, Kramerica Business Solutions LLC

I was babysitting since I was 12 and had a job in an office starting at 14. My mom and dad divorced when I was 12, things were really hard financially. My dad thought if my mom couldn’t feed us she would take him back. She worked and walked back and forth to her job when she had to just to take care of us. I saw her work ethic and copied it.

My dad, on the other hand, had money, lived on the beach and basically spent his days doing whatever he wanted. When I was 15, he told me that no one ever got ahead in life by being honest or working hard. I told him that I would prove him wrong.

By the time I was 16, I was making enough money to pay our rent and help with other bills. I too walked to work, a luxury was taking the bus. I was also lucky enough to have friends and a high school boyfriend that drove me whenever possible.

I moved out and kept working my way up, at one point, my dad was homeless and lived with me. Mom maintained her work ethic and so have I. I also decided that I would make a living doing honest work and by being really good at it. Mom is now retired and awesome, dad, sadly passed away in 2005, but we had made amends and were in a good place.

So, in answer to your question, does hard work pay off in the end? Yes, I own my own home, am married to a great man, have a daughter, have my own business, and I attract friends that are amazing. I sleep well at night knowing that I helped someone and that I did a good job.

Deborah Sweeney


CEO, MyCorporation

The key is to be a positive hard worker

I absolutely do believe that hard work opens up doors to even more opportunities. Hard workers develop a reputation that goes beyond simply being good at their jobs. They gain recognition for being dependable and responsible and, if they have positive attitudes especially, the word of mouth about how great they are to work with begins to spread beyond their existing networks.

It’s great to be a hard worker, but the key is to be a positive hard worker. The passion for what you do should be readily apparent in all that you work on and set forth to accomplish.

Sophie Miles


CEO & Co-Founder,

Hard work always has benefits in the end

In our imagination, we tend to associate hard work with notions such as stress, frustration, and unhappiness. We hear those words and we feel fear because it seems like a big deal for us. But it does not necessarily have to be this way.

Hard work always has benefits in the end. We can always learn from it, and its most positive consequences are growth, both professionally and personally.

But if we work on what love, if we feel constantly recompensed and that what we are doing is worthwhile. Do we really consider that it is “hard work”?

If we have joy, in our own way, but never relenting in our efforts, we will not only have worked hard, and as hard as anyone in our field, but we will also have had a good time.

We will have sown the seed of passion, that watered with effort and enthusiasm, will give us the fruits of a good and successful life.

Chelsey Heil


CEO & Founder, Creatives by Chelsey

Put in the work and never give up

I’m a firm believer that hard work pays off. However, it needs to be intelligent hard work. You can work really hard at an office job for 30 years and have it never pay off. You can also work really hard with a thousand other jobs that never pay off. So you have to combine hard work with an intelligent goal that actually has the capacity to pay off.

As Tony Robbins says, if you’re running east looking for a sunset, you’ll never find it. But if you change your trajectory and aim for specific goals that have the ability to change your life, now you’re onto something. Think about goals like:

  • Make an extra $2,000 this month.
  • Hire an assistant to buy back 20 hours of my time each week.
  • Start my company.

Would an extra $2,000 help you? How about an extra 20 hours? How about starting your business?

Related: 22 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important for Success

Sure, its hard work because you’ll end up working longer hours for a while but it will pay off. That’s what I did to start my company and it worked out great for me. I know you’ll achieve the same or even higher if you just put in the work and never give up!

Shiwali V. Tenner

Founder, Conure, LLC

Sometimes hard work pays off in the end

It all depends on your level of privilege, lucky breaks and supportive people in your life.

However often times people equate putting up with bad behavior, bad bosses, bullying and other demeaning behavior as hard work, this never pays off. However, if you consider “learning something” as a “Pay off” then it does pay off.

An example from my life is that I worked very hard and even though I was doing the job of the person I was supposed to be reporting to, every time I asked for a promotion, I was told I was not ready ( I am a brown immigrant woman). I had to switch jobs to get ahead.

The payoff, I learned my self-worth and ignored it when people said I was “not ready” and other euphemisms.

Dan Kent


Founder, Stocktrades Ltd.

I had been an electrician for about 8 years, and really wasn’t all that interested in the job. It paid well, in fact being from Alberta Canada it paid excellently. But I just felt that I could be doing something better, something I really enjoyed.

I won’t go too deep into the story of how we acquired it, but me and a friend had purchased the domain about two years prior. We ultimately decided that we were going to put a website up, and expected the money to pour in immediately. We were horribly, horribly wrong.

After a couple attempts to make something out of it, we gave up on it and were actually thinking about selling the domain. But, as I continued to grind the 9-5 I just thought this has to work. There has to be some way we can get this train moving. There was a lot of potential in the Canadian finance niche, and with me being an avid DIY investor since I was 19 (29 now) it was something I had a crazy passion for.

In early 2016 I started researching SEO and online businesses in general. I developed some strategies I was going to use to get this website on the map. For the better part of 2 years, Stocktrades really didn’t do much at all.

There was no significant traffic, no social following. To paint a picture, I was pretty much writing content that would take me days to produce and it was sitting on an island in the middle of the ocean, for only the birds to see.

I can tell you right now, putting endless amounts of time and effort into a project that hasn’t returned anything to you for over 700 days is something that is brutally taxing mentally.

Traffic to the website had been gradually rising over those two years but nothing really of significance until Christmas of 2017. It seemed like an absolute anomaly, but all of a sudden the site just started getting a surge of traffic from Google, and it continues to this day. We’ve gone as far to launch a membership platform on the site, and overall the website has gone from making about $8000 in all of 2017 to $8000 just in January of 2019.

I can’t even begin to count how many books I had read over that course of stagnancy on SEO, internet marketing, link building, internal linking, keyword research, but I built up a skill base today that I am extremely proud of. I always knew I had the knowledge to provide excellent information to Canadian investors, I just didn’t know how to get it to them.

When I publish a piece of content now, the question is ask myself is when it will get into the top 3 results on Google, not if. I’ve gone from an electrician who manages his own investments to a finance writer that over 30 000 viewers a month, 7000 newsletter subscribers and over 170 membership holders rely on to provide them with solid investment content. The fact my pieces have been featured on the Globe and Mail, Forbes and the Winnipeg Free Press just to mention a few is still surreal.

Looking back at it now, I couldn’t even imagine the utter regret I would have had if we sold the domain for 10 cents on the dollar. If I were to have any piece of advice for someone looking towards entrepreneurship, it is to never give up.

You’ve got to keep building your knowledge, set out to become an expert in the area.

Your only chance at success, at least in the online world today, is to devote everything you’ve got to make your idea, business, website, product or whatever you’re planning to be the absolute best it can be.

Matthew Ross

matt ross


Hard work pays off in the end in terms of self-happiness

The honest truth is that hard work doesn’t always pay off. Projects, businesses, and games don’t always work out the way you want them to. That’s just the way the world works.

For example, you might pour thousands of hours into a new business venture but there’s a good chance your product or service ends up flopping. Just by putting in long hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be the next Bill Gates.

However, I do think hard work pays off in the end in terms of self-happiness. Yes, you may fail at whatever you’re trying to achieve but you’ll be happy with yourself because deep down you know you put in a ton of hard work. At the end of the day, being comfortable and happy with yourself might just be better than winning a game or nailing a project.

Jason Lavis


Managing Director, Out of the Box Innovations Ltd.

It all comes down to the value of the work

This is one of the biggest dilemmas in a new business venture. Many phrases are describing the philosophy.

For example: ‘Knowing when to fold, and when to double down,’ ‘The Dip’ and ‘the trough of sorrow.’ Our culture rewards entrepreneurs that have a warrior mentality and those that never give up.

The problem is that all projects need hard work to have a chance, but most are doomed. We only need to watch Shark Tank or Dragons Den to see the cautionary tales of people who have broken themselves by pursuing an impossible dream.

So, it all comes down to the value of the work. It’s only worth choosing the hard path if you’re sure that it’s going to be worth it. For a business, you need to ask, “Can I be number one in my space?” Or “Could I make more sales tomorrow if I choose to, is there enough demand, and a healthy margin?

For those who are pursuing work as an employee, or those wanting to make the world a better place, they ask different questions. By asking questions such as “Would, I be doing this if I was already wealthy? Or “If I knew for sure that I’m going to fail eventually, is the journey worth it?

Amanda J. Ponzar

Chief Communications & Strategy Officer, Community Health Charities

I worked hard in school and spent my evenings doing homework, doing all the extra credit, always going above and beyond, and was a middle school valedictorian and high school salutatorian.

I took a full course load while working various jobs from – from babysitting a full day every week to serving as grad school receptionist to working at the library to being a writing tutor — and still graduated with a 4.0.

I worked full-time while taking a full course load and finished my master’s degree nights and weekends but quickly in about a year and a half, graduating with a 4.0.

The grad school advised against it, but I told them I could do it. I would leave for work at 7 AM, get there at 8 AM, work till nearly 5 PM, drive to school and take classes 530-930PM, then drive home arriving after 10 PM.

Going to school while working, although challenging, allowed me to gain credentials and work experience at the same time and has helped me excel in my career.

Hard work always pays off; it always has for me and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Richard Pummell

Human Resources Lead, Develop Intelligence

Those who persevere will achieve a track record of success

Long hours. Bad bosses. Projects went wrong.. Uncooperative coworkers. Difficult working conditions. Impossible clients.

Most employees have experiences one or more of these conditions on the job. They all contribute to experiences where it’s not uncommon to ask, “Is this really worth it?

Although typically not recognized or acknowledged at the time, these types of conditions truly do provide the types of experiences that can be drawn on in the future. They will shape decisions that need to be made, whether they impact themselves or employees they are leading.

Those who persevere in the face of these conditions will achieve a track record of success. They will be known as the ones who don’t back down, who can tackle tough situations, and who may be the best fit for upcoming challenges within the organization.

Whether it’s honing a craft so that they demonstrate mastery of their trade, or becoming a strong leader who can draw on experience and demonstrate empathy, there will definitely be a pay off for hard work.  Those who give up quickly will not reap the types of benefits achieved by those who have persisted and overcome the challenges of hard work.

Ilene Davis, CFP(R), MBA

Financial Professional | Author, “Wealthy by Choice: Choosing your way to a wealthier future”

A lot of it depends on what you mean by “pay off“.

Someone can work hard, spend all they make and reach the age that they may want or even physically or emotionally NEED to stop working, but because they have no money saved (latest number is something like 30% of those over 55 have NO retirement savings), really don’t have the option to stop working.

If having hard work “pay off” means that someone can at some reasonable age in life stop having to work hard to pay the bills, then it really depends on whether they took a portion of the proceeds from that hard work, and put it to work for their future selves.

While I know you don’t want self-promotion, that is what my book is all about. I would suggest that while hard work may provide the potential to pay off in the end, if none of the money earned through that hard work was put to work, then the pay off would not seem much of a return on that hard work.

Mack Dudayev


Real Estate Sales Associate, Chance Realty LLC

There are no true absolute guarantees in this life however, hard work does increase your outcome chances with a strong hand on the effort. From my experiences, whether it involves sports, career, or even personal goals, hard work always leads to some form of growth.

If you’re achieving growth, then it’s only a matter of time until you reach some well paid off success. In my personal opinion, even in the absence of this guarantee of absolute success, hard work most definitely pays off in the end.

Initially starting my first company, the only true investment upfront was pure sweat equity. Therefore, hard work was the only option in seeing any measure of success. Despite the ultra-competitive nature of this industry, my partner and I put out massive amounts of content for our website in an effort to educate and inform consumers about our industry. This mindful tactic paid off in ways we couldn’t even fathom or imagine.

The response from our audience was fast and strong and these avid responders began to make their way over to the category of new customers. Upon embarking on this content marketing campaign, we had no idea what the actual results would turn out. The only thing we knew for sure is continuing down the path of hard work would increase our chances of success and we were absolutely right.

Till this day, we still receive hundreds of customers from the sheer effort that began with the hard work that we put in a few years back. Whether you’re just starting out or trying to outdo a competitor, putting in two or three times the effort gives a higher chance of compounding your results in about half to a third the amount of time.

Ultimately, hard work is an exponential component of success and stands as the best investment that you can make not only in your company but, yourself.

Calvin Rosser


Writer | Speaker

Hard work pays off in the end, but not without help from others

I’m no stranger to adversity and hard work. I grew up in poverty in Orlando, Florida with just my mom. My dad was a drug addict and gambler who disappeared when I was two years old.

As a kid, I desperately wanted to improve my situation. I hated the world of scarcity, and I committed myself to find a way out. For a decade, I worked incredibly hard in school and in athletics. I didn’t know where that hard work would lead me, but I knew it was my only chance at beating the odds.

And eventually, the hard work paid off. In 2011, I was accepted to Princeton University on full financial aid. Since then, my life has improved in profound ways.

After graduating from Princeton, I landed a job at a big investment bank on Wall Street and felt financially secure for the first time in my life. I left that job to join a full remote startup, and while growing a business unit from zero to millions of dollars in revenue, I traveled to over 25 countries across the world. Since then, I’ve found a business dedicated to helping 10 million people live a more fulfilling life.

In less than a decade, I fulfilled and exceeded every life ambition that I had as a struggling teenager. At every point of the journey, I worked my tail off. Whether or not I felt motivated to face the challenge in front of me, I picked myself up and did it anyway. Because while I couldn’t control the external circumstances in my life, I could control how I responded to those circumstances and how hard I worked to better them.

Reflecting on my story, it would be easy to say that hard work pays off: Work hard, and you will succeed. But while hard work was an undeniably important part of my story, it wasn’t the only variable in the equation.

You see, while I worked hard day in and day out, I would never have made it without help from others.

Without my grandpa, a generous man who stepped up to fill the void of my absent father, I would never have learned the importance of patience, honesty, and setting goals.

Without Howard Sherman, a mentor who showed me the ins and outs of the Ivy League admissions process inspired me to think globally, and taught me how to use chopsticks, I would never have made it to Princeton or traveled the world.

And without my mom, who sadly took her own life a year ago, I would never have developed the authenticity, belief, and compassion that allowed me to better connect with others and continue fighting for my dreams.

No matter how hard I worked, without the help, I received from my grandpa, mentor, mom, and countless others, I might still be a poor kid in Orlando.

Hard work pays off in the end, but not without help from others.

Caleb Backe


Health & Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics

Hard work is one piece of the puzzle

Hard work is essential for getting ahead in life. Investing time and energy is important for making positive changes, boosting your credentials, and being a go-getter. Yet, hard work alone is usually not enough to be successful- quite honestly, it’s just one ingredient in the recipe for success.

Other crucial elements for succeeding are networking, timing, and sheer luck. Essentially, a good work ethic is necessary to get your foot in the door, but sometimes having the right connections will give you a greater opportunity to let your skills shine.

Timing is also a big factor, as you might have a great idea during a tough financial period when it’s hard to find investors. Alternatively, you might begin at a company at a time when it’s going through a lot of transitions, and learning the ropes quickly and rising to the challenge can help you prove yourself as an essential member of the team.

And lastly, we all need a little bit of luck to advance in life. Whether it’s finding a new job opportunity when you weren’t even looking for it or making an investment that produced a large return, having some good karma is helpful in succeeding.

Yet, while these factors can help you move ahead, hard work is always necessary to get you over the finish line of success.

Adam Cole


Author | Musician

It depends on what “the end” is. At the very end, we’re all dead, and while our families, communities or our world may reap the benefit of what we’ve done, most of us are not likely to know. We’ve been trained through the stories we love to watch in movies and on TV to expect an observable beginning, middle, and resolution to everything, and life doesn’t tend to work like that.

If what we’re looking for is some kind of visible affirmation that the hard work we’ve done has not been a wasted effort, we may have to look not at results but at our appreciation of the process. Happiness is not a place. It’s satisfaction while living, a fluid thing.

If we’re happy with what we’re doing now, or if we have a reasonable hope that someday we will be happy because of what we’re doing now, then our hard work is already worth it. If not, then our hard work is likely never going to pay off.

Carol Gee

Carol Gee

Author | Columnist | Motivational Speaker| Venus Chronicles

Growing up, my mother had two mantras about working:

“Anything worth doing was worth doing well”

“If you aren’t going to give your best effort to something then you shouldn’t do it at all.”

Of course the last didn’t actually work when she gave me chores that I didn’t wish to do. However, working hard and doing the best job I could always benefit me.

For example when I first relocated to where I currently live I worked several longtime temporary positions. One lasted four months and involved my coordinating info and submitting various monthly records to an individual at another office that was a part of the organization where I worked. As such, we got to know each other well.

When my assignment was about to end, I called her to let her know. She was surprised as she said the way I performed my duties she thought I was a permanent employee. Then asked if there was anything or anyone she could call on my half to stay on or be hired permanently.

Then the thirteen years I worked as an administrator at a well known Atlanta university, over and above my responsibilities, my immediate supervisor nominated me for an employee award. She also had me research a promotion which I got. Lastly, recognizing my hard work, she gave gifts that both surprised and amazed me. Spa treatments, trips for husband and I, bought me back items from her extensive travel etc. Already giving 100 percent her kindness and show of appreciation made me want me to give even more.

So I am proof that for some, hard work does pay off.

Kathy Kristof

Editor, Sidehusl

Working hard only pays off in the end if you also work smart

You need to focus on the job at hand; prioritize what needs to get done and when; and then do it beautifully and on time.

A lot of people confuse working many hours with working hard. Thus, they allow their boss (or themselves, if they are self-employed) to get overloaded with tasks and then do everything…increasingly sloppily. That rarely makes sense.

No one functions at top performance when they’re working 12-hour days, 7 days a week — especially if that type of overwork lasts for a long period. Sure, you can do that in a pinch for a short stretch. But you need to recognize your limits. That sort of overwork tends to dull your senses — make it harder for you to see what’s important while increasing the chance of errors.

Realize that your work is your resume. If you’re doing a sloppy job because you don’t have the time to do things right, anyone on the outside (calls them prospective employers) only sees your sloppy work. Work as hard as you need to to make your work shine. Make sure that you schedule in time to relax and regenerate. If you work hard and smart, you’ll be unstoppable.

Leigh Ann Newman


Owner & Blogger, NansDailyDoseofLife 

The pay-off can only truly be determined by the person doing the hard work

I believe hard work absolutely pays off in the end. However, the pay-off can only truly be determined by the person doing the hard work.

We each need to have a clear understanding of what our goals are and what we want the desired outcomes to be, whenever we undertake something that is going to require our dedicated time and attention.

If we are working hard on something, the only way for it to have positive outcomes is if we know what we are working towards and what the purpose of the hard work is. Otherwise, we are working hard without direction with no way to really know if the effort was worth the result.

McKinzie Bean


Blogger & Entrepreneur, MomsMakeCents

I believe that absolutely hard work pays off. As a mom and business owner, I built my businesses up from scratch. This meant a lot of late nights working until I fell asleep at my computer. I had to make sacrifices like less sleep, saying no to social events, and even moving in with family as we built up the businesses, but in the end, it was totally worth it!

After many sleepless nights, tons of research and a lot of hard work I was able to build my businesses up to a full-time income and retire my husband. He left his corporate job two years ago and since then we’ve continued to build the businesses and he had the time and flexibility to go back to school and get his masters degree. If he ever does choose to go back to work this will significantly help him find a job and receive an increase in pay.

Making the sacrifice upfront to build our own business was exhausting but has lead to one of the greatest blessings ever! We have so enjoyed being able to spend more time together and grow the businesses as a team. Don’t give up on your dreams, put in the time – even when it is hard – and you will reap the rewards for it!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can hard work lead to burnout?

Yes, hard work can lead to burnout if not balanced by rest and self-care. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that can result from prolonged or chronic stress and negatively impact health and well-being.

Here are some ways hard work can contribute to burnout:

Overwork: working too many hours or taking on too many tasks can lead to physical and mental exhaustion

Lack of breaks: Not taking regular breaks during the day can make it difficult to recharge

Insufficient self-care: Neglecting self-care activities such as exercise, sleep, and socializing

Unrealistic expectations: Unrealistic expectations of oneself or feeling the need to achieve something at all costs

To prevent burnout, it’s important to:
– Prioritize rest and self-care.
– Set boundaries around work.
– Seek support when needed.
– Take regular breaks throughout the day.
– Getting enough sleep and exercise.
– Activities that bring joy and fulfillment can reduce the risk of burnout.
– Set realistic goals and expectations.

Does hard work always lead to success?

While hard work is vital in achieving success, it is not the only factor. Success can depend on various factors, such as natural talent, external circumstances, and luck. Although hard work can improve skills and morale, it may not be enough to overcome these other factors.

For example, someone who is not naturally gifted in a particular area may have difficulty succeeding despite hard work, while someone naturally gifted may succeed more easily despite less effort.

An unhealthy work environment, such as a toxic or unsupportive workplace, can also make it difficult to succeed even with hard work.

Changing priorities may also play a role, as a person’s goals and priorities may shift over time, making it less necessary to continue working toward a previous goal or achievement.

Despite these challenges, hard work is still a valuable and essential principle. Hard work can help improve skills, develop a strong work ethic, and create opportunities for growth and development.

Hard work can also contribute to personal growth and satisfaction, even if it does not lead to the success we hoped for.

What challenges can get in the way of seeing the results of hard work?

While hard work is certainly beneficial when trying to achieve a goal, challenges often surface that can prevent even the most dedicated individuals from realizing their ambitions. 

These challenges can include:
– Not setting clear goals or not having an effective plan
– Trying too many things at once without allowing enough time for each one to flourish
– Being overly perfectionistic, which can hinder productivity
– Comparing yourself to others can lead to self-doubt

All these problems have one thing in common: they’re based on mental blocks instead of focusing on the task at hand. Identifying these issues early and consistently examining what’s best for you personally will help you get better results from the hard work you put in.

How can I balance hard work with rest and self-care?

Balancing hard work with rest and self-care is essential to maintaining physical and mental health. Here are some tips to help you find balance:

Prioritize self-care: Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercising, meditating, or spending time with loved ones.

Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries for your work and personal time, and try to stick to them as much as possible.

Take breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to stretch, exercise, and rest your mind.

Get enough sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep every night because sleep is vital for your physical and mental well-being.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help: If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, or a mental health professional.

Is hard work more important than talent?

The question of whether hard work is more important than talent is a complex one, and the answer may vary depending on the context. Here are some points to consider:

Hard work can compensate for a lack of talent. In many cases, hard work can help someone compensate for a lack of natural talent. For example, someone who is not naturally gifted can improve their skills in a particular skill or activity through consistent practice and dedication.

Talent can give someone an edge. Natural talent can give someone an edge in achieving their goals because they can acquire new skills more quickly or easily than someone without talent. However, this advantage can be weakened or even overcome by hard work and dedication.

Success often requires both talent and hard work. In many fields, success requires a combination of talent and hard work. Professional athletes, for example, have natural talent but must also work hard to maintain their physical abilities and develop their skills.

Similarly, successful musicians may have natural musical talent, but they must also work hard to practice, write music, and perform.

Hard work can be a more reliable predictor of success. While talent can give you an edge, hard work is often a more reliable predictor of success in the long run.

Someone who is willing to put in the effort and commitment to reach their goals is more likely to achieve them than someone who relies solely on their natural talents.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my hard work?

Measuring the effectiveness of your hard work can be challenging because success can be subjective and vary depending on your goals and circumstances. However, there are some ways to evaluate your progress and effectiveness:

Track your progress: Keep a record of your accomplishments, goals, and milestones to track your progress over time.

Solicit feedback: Ask for feedback from colleagues, mentors, or others who can give you constructive criticism and advice.

Compare yourself to benchmarks: Identify benchmarks or standards for success in your field or industry and compare your progress to them.

Reflect on your own development: Take time to reflect on your own growth and development and celebrate your successes.

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