100+ Motivational Quotes About Hard Work That’ll Help You Reach Your Goals

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Donald C. Kelly
Donald C. Kelly


Success doesn’t come easy — even the most dedicated entrepreneur sometimes finds it tough to stay on track. It’s hard for businesses to keep their employees motivated all the time. I even find myself struggling with motivation on days when challenges feel insurmountable.

hard work quotes

When I’m experiencing a rut, I look for sources of inspiration. That’s where motivational quotes come in. A good quote can remind me of why I love my role and the goals I want to achieve.

To keep your eyes on the prize, I gathered the 100+ top motivational quotes that can keep you going. Post these quotes on your office desk, send them in morning emails to your employees, or use them in your messaging system. Let’s dive in.

Download Now: 250+ Famous Quotes [Free Kit]

Table of Contents

Short Quotes About Hard Work

Sometimes, I want bite-sized bits of information. I don’t want to read a novel (or even a paragraph) for that dose of inspiration. If you’re in a rush, check out my favorite short quotes about hard work.

You can write these quotes on your desk or use them as a daily motivation for your entrepreneurship journey. When it comes to a mantra, the shorter, the sweeter.

1. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” — Tim Notke, Basketball Coach

2. “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” — Coco Chanel, Fashion Designer

3. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou, American Poet and Civil Rights Activist

4. “If your teacher, coach, or mentor believes you can do something, you’re more likely to do it.” — Gwen Moran, FastCompany

5. “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

6. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” — George Bernard Shaw, Playwright

7. “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

8. “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, Actor

9. “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the U.S.

10. “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

Inspirational Quotes About Working Hard

Every day has its highlights, but I usually feel a slump on Wednesday. When I’m feeling down during the mid-week, I use these quotes to find inspiration. I find it helpful to learn from the most successful person’s wisdom.

These quotes are also the perfect way to motivate your employees at the start of the month or when they have bigger goals. Try passing them along to your teams on Slack or via email.

1. “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” — Susan L. Taylor, Journalist

2. “Sometimes, you have to give up. Sometimes, knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. Giving up doesn’t mean stopping. Don’t ever stop.” — Phil Knight, Co-Founder of Nike

3. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton, Mathematician, Physicist, and Author

4. “The only thing standing between you and outrageous success is continuous progress.” — Dan Waldschmidt, Business Strategist

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

6. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” — Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple Inc.

7. “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” — Tony Robbins, American Author and Speaker

8. “On any given Monday, I am one sale closer and one idea away from being a millionaire.” — Larry D. Turner, United States Army Lieutenant Colonel

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

10. “Impossible is just an opinion.” — Paulo Coelho, Brazilian Lyricist and Novelist

11. “Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.” — Malcolm Gladwell, Journalist, Speaker, and Author

Encouraging Quotes

Not every professional endeavor results in a big win. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of missteps that have taught me valuable lessons. In these challenging moments, I always need a bit of additional encouragement.

A little celebration also helps me want to keep going after achieving a big milestone. I’m reminded why I want to keep going and how driven I am to achieve my goals.

Encouragement is vital for everyone. These encouraging quotes will inspire you to keep going and never give up.

1. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” — Muhammad Ali, Boxer and Activist

2. “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” — Zig Ziglar, Author

3. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney, Entrepreneur

4. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.” ― Epicurus, Greek Philosopher

5. “You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort, and money into training.” — Tom Hopkins, Author

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

7. “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, Television Host

8. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” — Babe Ruth, Baseball Player

9. “Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda, Jedi Master

Motivational Quotes About Hard Work

While everyone needs rest and breaks, hard work is essential to achieve lofty goals. When I’m looking to push through or need some extra motivation, I turn to these quotes to help get me through. Sometimes, I set them as my phone background, so I have a little reminder in my pocket.

1. “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” — Oprah Winfrey, TV Host

2. “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, Basketball Player

3. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for whatever success I have attained has been the result of much hard work and many sleepless nights.” — Madam C.J. Walker, Entrepreneur and Activist

4. “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” — Elon Musk, Entrepreneur

5. “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, Boxer and Activist

6. “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Josh Billings, Humorist

7. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” — Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of The Huffington Post

8. “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

9. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” — Charles R. Swindoll, Author

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

11. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player

Deep Quotes About Hard Work and Success

We all know that working hard reaps rewards, but sometimes, I want to get a little more philosophical. These quotes go beyond the surface to get into the nitty-gritty of how to achieve success. I use these quotes to remind myself how hard work leads to big wins.

1. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” — Dr. Mae Jemison, Engineer

2. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” — Dale Carnegie, Writer

3. “You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.” — Marian Wright Edelman, Civil Rights Activist

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

5.“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” — Thomas Paine, Political Philosopher

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

7. “When you do more than you’re paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.” — Zig Ziglar, Author

8. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon, Businessman

9. “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, Activist

10. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” — Dale Carnegie, Writer

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

12. “If you start thinking you are good at something, that's often the day you stop trying to be better and open the back door for someone to come after you. That's why we always aim higher. We never feel like we're done.” — Drew Houston, Entrepreneur

13. “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, Activist

Quotes About Perseverance and Hard Work

Business has ups and downs. Trust me, I’ve seen them throughout my career. Perseverance is how I make it through — whether initiatives are hitting their goals or lagging behind. These are my favorite quotes about perseverance and hard work that I turn to when the going gets tough.

1. “He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” — Nietzsche, Philosopher

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

3. “A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” — Helen Keller, Activist

4. “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all.” — Michelangelo, Artist

5. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” — Robert Collier, Author

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

7. “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli, Author

8. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, Author

9. “If you‘re in a job that you hate, don’t be scared of seeking out something that might be riskier. Anything can turn into something with passion and hard work.” — Whitney Wolfe Herd, Entrepreneur

10. “Don‘t run before you can crawl. It’s a very hard business, full of many, many extremely creative, talented people who work hard and still fail. If you have the basic building blocks behind you, you're much more likely to do well.” — Anna Wintour, Fashion Editor

11. “It’s so freeing, it’s beautiful in a way, to have a great failure, there’s nowhere to go but up.” — David Lynch, Director

12. “If you are patient...and wait long enough...Nothing will happen.” — Jim Davis, Cartoonist

13. “Without labor, nothing prospers.” — Sophocles, Philosopher

14. “Great companies are built in the office, with hard work put in by a team.” — Emily Chang, Journalist

15. “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, Business Person

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

17. “Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.” — Kobe Bryant, Basketball Player

Positive Quotes About Working Hard

To keep the trail of hard work going, you need to have a positive mindset and attitude consistently. Use these positive quotes for your employees through the middle of the month to keep their morale up.

Beyond that, I love that these quotes have a positive spin. I find that my favorite pearls of wisdom leave me feeling better than before.

1. “I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.” Oprah Winfrey, TV Personality

2. “It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” — Harry S. Truman, U.S. President

3. “The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t win’ is you, and you don’t have to listen.” — Jessica Ennis, Athlete

4. “You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it's enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.” — Richelle E. Goodrich, Author

5. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, Writer

6. “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President

7. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou, Poet and Activist

8. “There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman, Poet and Activist

9. “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell, Writer

10. “A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.” — Michael Larsen, Mathematician

Hard Work Pays Off Quotes

On busy days, it’s important to remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Hard work always pays off! I use these quotes to inspire my team (and myself!) to keep moving forward.

1. “Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.” — Henry Ford, Inventor

2. “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” — Conan O’Brien, Comedian

3. “The hard work definitely paid off, and hard work always does.” — Gabby Douglas, Gymnast

4. “I strongly believe if you work hard, whatever you want, it will come to you.” — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Musician

5. “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” ― Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President

6. “Confidence and hard work is the best medicine to kill the disease called failure. It will make you a successful person.” — Abdul Kalam, Indian President

7. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” — George Halas, Football Coach

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

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

10. Happiness is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from hard work.” — Joseph Barbara, Mobster

Funny Motivational Quotes

Why so serious? Sometimes, I need a laugh to lighten the mood. That’s where funny, motivational quotes come in. I use these quotes when I need a giggle or want to bring a smile to my colleague’s face.

1. “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” — Winnie the Pooh, Fictional Character

2. “Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” — Edgar Bergen, Comedian

3. “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” — Lily Tomlin, Comedian

4. "If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.” — Betty Reese, Reese Witherspoon's Mother

5. “Be a positive energy trampoline — absorb what you need and rebound more back.” — Dave Carolan, Soccer Coach

6. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing —that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar, Author

7. “Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas Edison, Inventor

8. “A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.” — Henry Kissinger, Diplomat

Team Quotes on Hard Work

Things are better when we work together! I love the people I work with, and teamwork makes all the difference when collaborating on tough projects. We can increase productivity, job satisfaction, and even each person's performance. These team quotes will inspire you to achieve success and stay together.

1. “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller, Activist

2. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie, Philanthropist

3. “I invite everyone to choose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition.” — Jean-Francois Cope, Politician

4. “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” — Patrick Lencioni, Author

5. “The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” — James Cash Penney, Entrepreneur

6. “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” — Vince Lombardi, Football Coach

7. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” — Babe Ruth, Baseball Player

8. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan, Basketball Player

Start Achieving Your Goals Now

Success doesn’t come easy, but it’ll be so much sweeter when it comes. In the future, your own story of overcoming obstacles might encourage other entrepreneurs. Your hard-fought wisdom will benefit someone else.


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