Does hard work always work!

I keep hearing this old adage that the way to do well in what you set out to achieve is to work hard. Now I don’t disagree with that totally, of course hard work is generally a requirement to do well at things but I find it a bit frustrating when successful people in various fields give that as their first answer to the question “How did you become successful?”

I watched a live video feed by Chase Jarvis recently with a bunch of renowned pro photographers on a panel taking questions from the audience. When asked how they became successful Chase gave the classic answer “mostly by working really hard”.

I have no doubt that Mr Jarvis has worked hard to achieve his success, he is very talented and by applying that hard work in the right way he has become a successful and well renowned photographer as well as a hugely popular celebrity in the photographic online community.

The reality in my opinion though is that hard work isn’t the key, anyone can work hard but if you don’t use that energy in the right way it’s not going to result in driving you forward. So what’s the real answer to the question? Well if I knew that I’m sure I would be a lot richer than I am!

In my opinion when it comes to being successful in any business you need talent, enthusiasm, marketing savvy, the right attitude, good contacts and a fair amount of luck at times as well.

Let me know your thoughts, would you say hard work worked for you, or was there another factor that helped you achieve what you set out to do?

3 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    I don’t dispute that talent is important, but I think luck is key here. There are many talented, hard working people who don’t make it because they may not be in the right place, at the right time, to meet the right person!
    Successful people rarely want to talk about luck, because it may appear to devalue what they have achieved.
    That said, the old adage “the harder I work, the luckier I become…” still has a lot going for it!

  2. Ollie says:

    I once read somewhere that in order to be successful you need to be good at what you do, love what you do and have the funds to do it.

  3. Linford Miles says:

    I agree,
    Being a recent graduate means I hear this answer a lot and does it answer any of my questions? not at all!
    I think the true meaning behind success is not how hard you’ve worked to get there but using what you have learnt and applying it to something! For example I now work in marketing at a local university and I am finding that my success comes through using the skills and talents I picked up from my degree course and creating content with context and meaning! anyone can pick up a camera and try hard…but it takes real skill to take that camera and know what your making the film on and more importantly why!

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