You learn and re-learn the great truths in the strangest places. Here’s the truth I speak of in this post: work ethic really, really matters.
The quote comes from a short piece/interview on Huffington Post with Joan Rivers. She is a perpetual and repeated success story, in spite of her oddities and her persona. She won “The Celebrity Apprentice” and now she’s got a new show debuting, “How’d You Get So Rich?”
Here’s what she said in an interview with AP:
AP: Is there a secret to success?
Rivers: It’s having an idea that you totally believe in and then working at it. Not one person that we interviewed did not have a great work ethic. These people don’t say, “Boohoo, poor me, it’s a recession and I can’t do it.” Absolutely not. (emphasis added).
It’s that little, short sentence that affirms what the business books say: work ethic matters. Here’s Malcolm Gladwell from Outliers:
The people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.
But it’s not just work ethic – it’s work ethic with time invested in getting good/better/the best at what you do in a discipline labeled “deliberate practice.” Here’s Geoff Colvin’s description from Talent is Overrated:
The factor that seems to explain the most about great performance is something the researchers call deliberate practice. (This) definitely isn’t what most of us do on the job every day, which begins to explain the great mystery of the workplace – why we’re surrounded by so many people who have worked hard for decades but have never approached greatness. Deliberate practice is hard. It hurts. But it works. More of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance.
Work much, much harder…tons of it equals great performance. It sounds like it takes hard work to succeed, in business, and in life.
Say what you will about her, this much is sure: Joan Rivers works very hard. And she is set to tell us in her new program that the most successful people all work equally hard. It is the non-negotiable on the path to success.