175+ Insightful Work Ethic Quotes

Work ethic is something that people can struggle with throughout their lives. With so much competition in today’s world, it’s important to have a strong work ethic if you want to succeed. Take a look at these inspirational quotes about maintaining a strong work ethic.

Inspirational Quotes About Work Ethic

Inspirational Quotes About Work Ethic concept, a man balances out the scales.

Sometimes when the world gets you down, it helps to have a little inspiration. So here are a few quotes about work ethic to inspire you.

  • “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas
  • “To be persuasive we must be believable, to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.” – Edward R. Murrow
  • “Work is finding yourself alone at the track when the weather kept everyone else indoors. Work is pushing through the pain and crappy first drafts and prototypes. It is ignoring whatever plaudits others are getting, and more importantly, ignoring whatever plaudits you may be getting. Because there is work to be done. Work doesn’t want to be good. It is made so, despite the headwind.” – Ryan Holiday
  • “I don’t know what your future is, but if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, the one that has ultimately proven to have more meaning, more victory, more glory– than you will not regret it.” – Chadwick Boseman
  • “Developing a good work ethic is key. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.” – Tyler Perry
  • “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing, and dream while others are wishing.” – William Arthur Ward
  • “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein
  • “What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.” – Jason Fried
  • “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
  • “Work ethic is important because, unlike intelligence, athleticism, charisma, or any other natural attribute, it’s a choice.” – Mike Rowe
  • “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” – William Arthur Ward
  • “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
  • “Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” – Tim Fargo
  • “Genes can’t make you successful if you’re not doing the work. Yes, it’s possible that the ripped trainer at the gym has better genes, but if you haven’t put in the same reps, it’s impossible to say if you have been dealt a better or worse genetic hand. Until you work as hard as those you admire, don’t explain away their success as luck.” – James Clear
  • “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” – David Bly
  • “Don’t work for recognition but do work worthy of recognition.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • “Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.” – Frank Ocean
  • “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan
  • “You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.” – Stephen C. Hogan
  • “I have a work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something, I do it.” – Viggo Mortensen
  • “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
  • “Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.” – Robert Half
  • “What you do in practice is going to determine your level of success. I used to tell my players, ‘You have to give 100 percent every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it.’” – John Wooden
  • “Professionalism shouldn’t be defined by a person’s paycheck, role or title. It should be defined by a person’s work ethic.” – Janna Cachola

Good Work Ethic Quotes

Everyone has their own understanding of work ethic. Here are some good work ethic quotes that summarize it best.

  • “I would rather risk wearing out than rusting out.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “If you work hard enough and assert yourself and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” – Malcolm Gladwell
  • “The best way to learn is by doing. The only way to build a strong work ethic is by getting your hands dirty.” – Alex Spanos
  • “When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “A good work ethic is not so much a concern for hard work but rather one for responsibility. There have been a great many men and women who have, in fact, used work or hustle or selfish ambition as an escape from real responsibility, an escape from purpose. In matters such as these, the hard work is just as dysfunctional as the sloth.” – Criss Jami
  • “Face your problems head-on. Do what you have to do to take care of it. Develop a good work ethic.” – George Chuvalo
  • “Every beautiful mind has great dreams, but rarely is anyone ever ready to work hard for their dreams.” – Terry Mark

Work Ethic Quotes on Humility

Humility is one of the most important qualities a person can have. Take a look at these work ethic quotes about humility.

  • “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson
  • “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis
  • “Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” – Thomas Merton
  • “The greatest friend of truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility.” – Charles Caleb Colton
  • “The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it.” – Mignon McLaughlin
  • “Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought.” – Simone Weil
  • “Humility is really important because it keeps you fresh and new.” – Steven Tyler
  • “Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.” – Thomas Moore
  • “Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.” – Madeleine L’Engle
  • “Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying.” – St. Vincent de Paul
  • “One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time.” – Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet
  • “Selflessness is humility. Humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free.” – Jeff Wilson
  • “Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life–and maybe even please a few strangers.” – A.L. Kennedy

Work Ethic Quotes on Hard Work

Lacking motivation? Here are some strong quotes about the work ethic that can motivate you to work hard and get results.

  • “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
  • “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey
  • “All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point.” – Eric Thomas
  • “Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” – Ann Landers
  • “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs
  • “Do it from the heart or not at all.” – Jeanette Winterson, The Passion
  • “If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” – Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers
  • “If you have built castles in the air; your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan
  • “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Samuel Goldwyn
  • “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher
  • “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” – Bill Gates
  • “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

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Work Ethic Quotes on Integrity

Work ethic and integrity are two of the most important trait of any successful person. Here are some insightful quotes about work ethic and integrity that are worth checking out.

  • “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas
  • “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.” – Edward R. Murrow
  • “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffet
  • “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

Work Ethic Quotes for Students

As a student, it’s easy to give in to cheating your way through difficult exams and assignments. These work ethic quotes tell you why you shouldn’t do that.

  • “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills
  • “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon
  • “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar

Work Ethic Quotes for Employees

Are you working hard to achieve your career dreams? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want a boost of inspiration, these work ethic quotes are for you.

  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
  • “This is the only country in the world where today’s employee is tomorrow’s employer.” – Marco Rubio
  • “Believe in yourself. Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” – Helen Keller
  • “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
  • “I can say the willingness to get dirty has always defined us as an nation, and it’s a hallmark of hard work and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” – Mike Rowe
  • “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
  • “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain
  • “Refuse failure. No matter how difficult the obstacles, find a way to around them.” – JJ Goldwag
  • “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz
  • “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti
  • “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” – H. Jackson Browne
  • “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
  • “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn
  • “The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.” – Karen Salmansohn
  • “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
  • “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers
  • “You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Sam Levenson

Teamwork Ethic Quotes

Teamwork Ethic Quotes concept, two men are balancing on an arrow.

Below are a few quotes about teamwork ethics that can help you encourage new friendships and work well together with your fellow teammates.

  • “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.” – Jonathan Winters
  • “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
  • “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford
  • “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
  • “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
  • “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray
  • “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there” – Will Rogers
  • “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “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
  • “Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing.” –Donald Gardner
  • “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” – Benjamin Mays
  • “Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.” – Kobe Bryant
  • “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” – Mohandas Gandhi
  • “I’m grinding while you’re sleeping.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
  • “Hard work is the price that must be paid for success. You can accomplish anything and become anyone, so long as you’re willing to pay the price.” – Atlas RoweWhether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
  • “Work harder than you think you did yesterday.” – Alex Elle
  • “How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon Chouinard
  • “I have a work ethic. If I say I am going to do something, I do it.” – Viggo Mortensen
  • “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “We will either find a way or make one.” – Hannibal
  • “When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So, I did ten times more work.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “Work ethic is important because, unlike intelligence, athleticism, charisma, or any other natural attribute, it’s a choice.” – Mike Rowe
  • “If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do.” – Michael Phelps
  • “Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash
  • “Work hard, have fun, make history.” – Jeff Bezos
  • “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” – Richard Branson
  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost
  • “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close
  • “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” – Arnold Palmer
  • “At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and, eventually, it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.” – Kevin Hart
  • “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.” – Joe Girard
  • “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
  • “With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” – Thomas Fowell Buxton
  • “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” – Napoleon Hill
  • “A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence.” – Jim Watkins
  • “We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” – Helen Keller

Famous Work Ethic Quotes

Life can be challenging at times. When you hit a difficult spot, it is important to remember that others have traveled the same path before. These famous work ethic quotes will inspire you at the time when inspiration is most needed.

  • “Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking but also our feeling.” – Valdemar W. Setzer
  • “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing your self to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.” – Mary Lou Retton
  • “Choices and decisions must be supported by your passion, resolve and a productive work ethic. If these meet opportunity – your success has finally come! “ – Archibald Marwizi
  • “A can-do attitude, a positive personality, and a strong work ethic are still the primary ingredients for success at Nordstrom.” – Robert Spector
  • “You have to have a work ethic, and you have to be educated in what you’re doing. You have to take it seriously. It doesn’t mean that everything you do has to be serious. But you’ve got to have the tools.” – Jakob Dylan
  • “We didn’t have a lot when I was growing up, and it’s the best thing that happened to me because I appreciate everything. I developed a strong work ethic, and I don’t take anything for granted.” – Sarah-Jessica Parker
  • “I never took the work less than serious, my work ethic is ingrained in me. But I’ve always had a sense of humour about myself.” – George Hamilton
  • “Have a clear plan or strategy to translate your success philosophy into desired results. Adopt an effective work ethic, with a laser-focus and requisite execution strategies to produce results.“ – Archibald Marwizi
  • “A good work ethic is not so much a concern for hard work but rather one for responsibility. There have been a great many men and women who have in fact used work or hustle or selfish ambition as an escape from real responsibility, an escape from purpose. In matters such as these, the hard work is just as dysfunctional as the sloth.“ – Criss Jami
  • “Live by the creed that a strong work ethic, playing by the rules, and doing things the right way will bring about opportunities for success and, ultimately, happiness.” – Nick Saban

Funny Work Ethic Quotes

We don’t need to take everything so seriously – including work ethic! Here are some humorous work ethic quotes that will make you smile.

  • “If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z. Where X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.”​ – Albert Einstein
  • “There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.​” – David Letterman
  • “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” – Muhammad Ali
  • “The taxpayer– that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” – Ronald Reagan
  • “Early to bed and early to rise probably indicates unskilled labor.” – John Ciardi
  • “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs… one step at a time.” – Joe Girard
  • “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” – Andy Stanley
  • “Hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil– and you’ll never get a job working for a tabloid.” – Phil Pastoret
  • “Why do people say they wish every day was Friday? If it was always Friday, we’d be here every freakin’ day.” – Ed Bernard
  • “Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work.” – Al Capp

Work Ethic Quotes from Athletes

Athletes are known and admired for their extraordinary determination and excellent work ethics. Here are some words of wisdom about work ethic from famous athletes.

  • “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” – Frank L. Gaines
  • “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” – Muhammad Ali
  • “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” – Tom Landry
  • “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” – Mary Lou Retton
  • “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee
  • “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” – Ernie Banks
  • “It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.” – Evander Holyfield
  • “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” – Pele
  • “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” – Knute Rockne
  • “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

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Powerful Work Ethic Quotes

Take a look at these powerful work ethic quotes to remind you why hard work and a good reputation pays off.

  • “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffe
  • “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “If ethics are poor at the top, that behaviour is copied down through the organization.” – Robert Noyce
  • “I have a work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something, I do it.” – Viggo Mortensen
  • “I never took the work less than serious, my work ethic is ingrained in me. But I’ve always had a sense of humor about myself.” – George Hamilton
  • “Professionalism shouldn’t be defined by a person’s pay check, role or title. It should be defined by a person’s work ethic.” – Janna Cachola
  • “I believe work is good. There is dignity in work. I also believe that a hard-work ethic forges strong leaders.” – Mike Krzyzewski

Business Ethic Quotes

As a business owner, your work ethic can either help you establish trust or ruin your reputation. Here are some strong quotes about business ethics worth reading.

  • “A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” – John F. Kennedy
  • “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.” – Albert Camus
  • “A new model of heroic capitalism based on principle-driven, free-market entrepreneurship deserves a central place in business-ethics thought and action.” – Robert L. Bradley, Jr.
  • “A person who is fundamentally honest doesn’t need a code of ethics. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are all the ethical code anybody needs.” – Harry S. Truman
  • “Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” – Jane Addams
  • “As an anonymous participant in financial markets, I never had to weigh the social consequences of my actions I felt justified in ignoring them on the grounds that I was playing by the rules.” – George Soros
  • “As an entrepreneur building a business, you need to respect yourself and surround yourself with people you can respect….Do not lie, steal, or cheat. Make your word your bond and always stand by your word. When you are wrong, own up to it and make good on the deal. Treat others as you’d want to be treated.” – Jana Matthews

Conclusion

Building a positive work ethic is essential to becoming a better entrepreneur, boss, employee, or just about anything. If you’ve ever struggled with motivation, work ethic, or self-confidence in your job, hopefully some of these quotes can provide an extra push. Anytime you’re feeling unmotivated, simply read one of these quotes and get back to work!

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