Success doesn’t come easy — even the most dedicated entrepreneur sometimes finds it tough to stay on track.

To keep your eyes on the prize, learn from 70 top hard work quotes. 

Allow the words of those who have gone before us to motivate you and keep you focused. Learn from others who have walked the same path and share in their hard-fought lessons.

The caveat: hard work must be the common factor for anyone seeking to be successful, regardless of talent.

No amount of talent can supersede hard work. If you have natural ability, don’t expect it to automatically generate success. It won’t.

Failure is often unpleasant. Your decision to analyze and learn from it will be the difference in your organization’s trajectory.

When challenges threaten to derail your efforts — look to those who have survived similar struggles. Seek motivation in their stories.

Unless your experience is unique, hard work and perseverance most often lead to success. If we’re scared of hard work, we likely will have a harder time reaching success.

Pessimists are more willing to acknowledge red flags and take corrective action than optimists.

Defeatists oppose change of any kind on the grounds it might not work. In any kind of business, it’s an unwelcome viewpoint.

Keep an eye out for defeatist attitudes — refuse to let them infiltrate your organization.

The recipe for success contains a lot of hard work. Sometimes it can be luck, but it’s primarily hard work.

We may set out on our journey to success with an idea of how we want to get there, but sometimes we need to pivot along the way.

Being okay with not knowing what your next step is and allowing yourself to simply be on the journey can be hard, but it pays off and helps us learn more about ourselves.

Entrepreneurs face tough choices. One of the biggest might be quitting your existing job to run your own business.

Many entrepreneurs report making tough decisions that changed their lives for the better. Be willing to make the challenging calls and push through the difficult times.

Most of us love Cinderella stories about companies that turned into overnight sensations. We love the idea of making a lot of money without working too hard, but we fail to acknowledge that overnight successes usually don’t happen overnight.

It’s O.K. to acknowledge that something isn’t working. Keep moving, whichever direction you choose.

By leveraging the work of major thinkers before him, Newton was able to make even more intellectual progress. In this way, success is a collaborative effort. What can you learn from others?

Think of luck as an opportunity. We all have access to it. Humble people capitalize on luck because they remain open to help from others. Their willingness to admit vulnerability invites others to engage with them.

Be vulnerable enough to admit you don’t have all the answers. Seize opportunities when they appear and you’ll likely find that success will follow.

Oftentimes the media shows us depictions of success that make it seem effortless, like it happened overnight.

Few of these success stories actually happen overnight, save for freak occurrences.

Instead, success stories come along after periods of significant work. Maybe success did come all at once, but there was likely a period of hard work, a tipping point, and then success happened quickly.

It can sometimes seem intimidating to set goals if we don’t know how to achieve them, but goals can help illuminate the path to success as they bring a sense of direction and, when achieved, confirm that we’re on the right path.

Florence Chadwick set out to swim from Catalina Island to the coast of California in 1952. After swimming for 15 hours, she was physically and emotionally exhausted. She asked to be taken from the water.

Chadwick didn’t know that she was less than a mile away from her goal, but fog obscured the shoreline and she didn’t realize how close she was.

When you can’t see the shoreline, keep working. You’re likely closer than you think.

Combining natural talent and hard work most often leads to success, or at least more often than simply relying on talent and nothing else.

When hard work is driven by passion, it’s easier to push through hard times with determination and optimism. 

Your definition of success is determined by your own individual goals. However, what always holds true is that achieving success involves taking risks. Place yourself out of your comfort zone and discover the benefits it can bring.

Endurance runner Calum Neff learned a fellow runner was stranded in a flooding house during Hurricane Harvey. The runner had a broken leg and children to care for, so Neff rushed over with a raft and a truck and rescued them.

Neff then set up a command post and organized nearby rescue efforts and resources. Ultimately, his team rescued 600 families from the floodwaters.

Be willing to do extra work — even if it doesn’t benefit you. Few people do it, so you’ll set yourself apart from the crowd.

Consider yourself courageous for doing hard things every single day.

Doing hard things can make us want to give up, but sometimes doing hard things can make achieving our goals feel better, as we know we’ve put in hard work to get there.

People are your greatest resource. You spend money to recruit, hire, and onboard new candidates — but you shouldn’t stop there.

Training helps your employees improve and gain confidence. It increases job satisfaction and elevates your company’s reputation among customers and potential employees.

Cut costs where you must but refuse to sacrifice training for your team.

Colonel Harland Sanders was old enough to retire when he landed a deal to sell his chicken for a nickel a piece. He then franchised his chicken idea and eventually sold the franchise for $2 million.

Legend claims he was rejected 1,009 times before he found success. Sanders’ restaurant career started when he was 40, and more than 20 years passed before he found financial success.

Do not impose limits on yourself.

Perhaps we’ve become too comfortable in our jobs and less confident in our own abilities. Don’t be afraid to get dirty.

In reality, the only thing that can have us beat is giving up. We can stand to learn something from our failures, and when we don’t give up, they instead become stepping stones to future success.

Yoda offers his blunt, but effective wisdom to Luke Skywalker in response to Skywalker saying “I’ll try.” To achieve goals, people have to take the plunge and fully commit.

Michael Jordan is a basketball player, well known throughout his career for being a successful shooting guard.

However, even though he achieved success, it still came along with missed shots and lost games — which he credits as the reasons why he succeeded.

Entrepreneurship is important. Entrepreneurs create new businesses, introduce new jobs, develop communities, and start social change. Smartphones, for example, have revolutionized the world economy.

They’ve even spread to countries not considered wealthy by world standards. And they’ve empowered entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries to wade into the marketplace.

Never stop doing important work.

Every conversation has the potential to be a career-changing opportunity. No matter what industry you’re in, there are likely parts of your process you don’t enjoy.

It’s easy to motivate yourself to work hard on the parts of your job that naturally lend themselves to a payday. It’s also easy to forget the less-important parts of your job also contribute to your organization’s earning potential.

Don’t overlook the behind-the-scenes work in pursuit of the high-profile stuff. It’s all-important.

Over time, many entrepreneurs find their passion for the business fades. Long hours, demanding schedules, and work-life imbalance likely contribute to a sense of loss.

Expect your passion to wane, but don’t ignore the situation. The moments of doubt will make you appreciate the moments of unbridled joy even more.

Sometimes we work really hard at something and find that we’ve made a wrong decision. It’s disheartening, but it’s not the end of the world. As Huffington says, we should view wrong decisions and failures as key pillars of our journey towards making the right decisions.

Most of us are painfully unaware of the self-limiting thoughts we harbor. Once we adopt a negative belief about ourselves, we tend to ignore evidence that it’s incorrect and embrace evidence that suggests it’s true. In other words, we double down on negative thoughts.

The path towards success is never a straight-shot. But with the right attitude, you can overcome any misstep or obstacle. Attitude, then, is greater than failure or circumstance.

Anyone can be patient and understanding when things are going well and life is good. But when adversity comes knocking, our true character is tested. Don’t let obstacles knock the wind out of your sail or cause you to sink into negative thinking.

When Arthur Ashe first picked up a tennis racket at seven, do you think he was ready to win a Grand Slam? Not quite. In fact, due to his slight build, his childhood nicknames were “Skinny” and “Bones.”

So how did he win his first Grand Slam 18 years later? Most notably, he was willing to be a beginner. After all, it’s often the doing that is more important than the outcome.

By fine-tuning his craft — and learning hard lessons about composure and perseverance along the way — he became one of the most prominent tennis figures of his generation.

Why do some businesses succeed while others fail? Successful companies have leaders who stay the course despite struggles — leaders who value patience and persistence.

Consider this: we’re not always obligated to win. Instead, we should feel like we’re succeeding based on the fact that we get up every day and do the best we can do.

Don’t give up on an idea or a process before you’ve had time to practice it consistently. Many entrepreneurs allow six months to determine whether a concept is effective.

Pursue consistency before greatness.

Conflict occurs when you employ different people with unique personalities and ideas. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be bad.

When you address conflict, you help people feel as though their concerns are heard. Consensus increases, communication improves, and relationships grow. Don’t avoid conflict. Address it quickly and fairly to see its benefits.

Success doesn’t have to be our final stage. We can always continue innovating, learning, and discovering new things, but this takes courage, whether you’ve experienced failure or already succeeded.

A baseball coach I know once told his players to “always be looking for work.” Never stand flat-footed while the ball is in play. Instead, find a way to contribute to the team.

Create a culture that encourages people to prioritize team success. When someone else has a good idea, do everything you can to promote and support it. Seek ways to contribute to the concept even if it isn’t your responsibility.

Your leadership will appreciate your initiative. And your coworkers will likely respond in kind when it’s your project.

Businesses live and die on the backs of the people who work there. Celebrate the people in your company who do the tasks that are often overlooked. The administrative assistants, janitorial staff, and mailroom people, to name a few.

When you acknowledge their importance, you inspire them to work hard for the good of the team. Do this for everyone who works in your organization.

Reaching success sometimes means climbing over rocks. If you’re discouraged by these rocks, try viewing them as stepping stones that will help you reach the top of the mountain.

“The secret to success,” is an oft-mentioned phrase. While some may claim to have the answer, the only secret is, as Colin Powell says, that it takes preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

Kodak was founded in 1880 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012. The move was likely a result of the company’s failure to acknowledge the move toward digital photography.

Oprah Winfrey’s television channel — launched in 2012 — has yet to produce significant ratings and is struggling to stay afloat.

No one is immune from the evolving marketplace. There are plenty of people out there who will gladly take your place if you choose to stop evolving.

Never stop improving.

Patience is a necessary part of perseverance. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Instead, it is the culmination of smaller efforts.

Failure is an unavoidable — albeit painful — part of entrepreneurialship. But failure doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. It could be an opportunity to grow, evolve, and innovate.

It’s a common fallacy to believe that talented people are just born that way. In reality, it takes dedication and years of practice — we just witness the final form of hard work.

And here’s Aristotle with the lay-up: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

This is a modest statement, especially coming from the developer of the theory of relativity. Yet, the sentiment still rings true: being passionately curious will lead you to great revelations.

When it comes to setbacks, mindset is everything. Rather than indulge in failure and self-destructive thoughts, you can tap into your reserves of courage to rebuild and try again.

Wolfe Herd said. “For all the advances women had been making in workplaces and corridors of power, the gender dynamics of dating and romance still seemed so outdated. I thought, what if I could flip that on its head? What if women made the first move, and sent the first message?” She took a risk and left Tinder to found her own dating app — and judging by the 100 million users Bumble boasts, the risk was worth it.

Though the Garfield comic strip revolves around a leisure and lasagna-loving cat, Jim Davis has a more proactive mindset. 

Even Greek writer and philosopher Sophocles noted that nothing can be achieved without making an effort.

Journalist Emily Chang states that a company’s success depends on collective hard work. 

Businessman Sam Walton founded retailers Sam’s Club and Walmart. He says that having passion for your work is contagious and positively affects people around you.

Stuck in a rut? Take inventor Alexander Graham Bell’s advice and make the first step. 

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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