chair with blanket Can Hard Work Make You Rich?

Can Hard Work Make You Rich?

You work hard at your day job and probably have a side hustle, too, right? You spend your days clocking in hours at your job and feel exhausted.

So what’s the truth? Does hard work make you rich?

It’s an often misunderstood concept. Does hard work equal wealth and success?

The answer initially seems obvious, but when you look closer, you’ll see that there are other factors to consider. 

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Can you get rich by working?

It seems like the right way to go about it, right? You work hard, and you’ll have wealth to show for it at some point.

After all, you’re working long hours at your job and you make a good income, so that should result in a high net worth. Well, not necessarily.

After all, many people work hard for their entire lives and then have no wealth to show for it. The fact is, hard work all on its own won’t make you rich; it will just make you tired.

If you get paid a good salary but have no idea what to do with it, you’re no better off than if you worked a job that paid less. Why? Because you have to educate yourself about money to accumulate any amount of wealth.

In other words, if you go to work and work 60 or 70-hour weeks and make $200,000 a year but have no financial education, you could wind up spending all of it and have no wealth at all.

On the other hand, someone who makes less than half of this and knows how to handle money may end up richer. It’s all about investing the time to educate yourself properly.

Related: Easy Finance 101 Guide

Is getting rich luck or hard work?

This is a pretty common misconception. Some people think that becoming rich is just a matter of luck that has nothing to do with us.

Some people just get lucky and get rich, while others simply don’t, no matter how hard they work. However, this is entirely inaccurate.

Unless you win the lottery, people don’t just wake up one day and say, “Wow, I’m rich! Who would have thought that would happen?”

Instead, they are wise with their money for years and eventually become wealthy. It is definitely not by accident.

Rich people work hard to manage their income and savings properly. They invest their money well and grow it over time.

So when it turns into more money, they aren’t surprised. They’re right on track.

Speaking of lotteries, people that become rich overnight usually don’t stay that way. Why? Because they generally spend or lose everything that they get.

But true wealth requires patience, wisdom, and usually years of hard work. So, financial education is essential if you want to be rich and stay rich.

Related: 9 Surprising Differences Between a Rich vs Poor Mindset

What career can make you rich? 

So you’ve decided that you want to become rich, and you know that it isn’t just about hard work. The following are some career paths that can make you rich.

However, it’s important to remember that not everyone who chooses one of these jobs will become wealthy. Hard work and managing your money well are also required, as well as education and, in some cases, a considerable amount of determination. 


One of the careers that can make you rich is that of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs work for themselves and run their own businesses. They often create a business from the ground up, or in some cases, they buy one. 

Being an entrepreneur is not a good idea for everyone, and it can be a challenging path filled with a lot of rejection. And some entrepreneurs fail.

However, you might make it as an entrepreneur if you have a positive outlook, determination, business smarts, and a great idea.

But if you choose this path and begin to make a lot of money, it’s still important to invest and save it wisely to become wealthy. Otherwise, your hard work won’t leave you with much to show for later.

Investment Banker

According to Northeastern University, investment bankers help people with investments like stocks and bonds, and also acquisitions and mergers. This is an important and challenging job, but you can make good money from it.

Investment bankers can start their career making six figures. This can be helpful, but you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons and still manage your money well to become rich.


Becoming a lawyer includes many years of college and a lot of discipline, but you can make a good income later. Lawyers practice law and advocate for their clients in legal situations. Lawyers earn an average of $126,930 a year. 

If you don’t mind the years of school and potential student loans you’ll need to pay back, this can be a good career choice. But it does take time before you’ll see a profit.

Real Estate Agent

Real estate is a career with a ton of potential depending on how hard you work and how many houses you sell. The average is about $95,000 a year, but much of the income depends on the agent. 

A real estate agent will find houses for potential buyers, show them the homes, and help them decide about buying a house. Real estate can be a fulfilling career if you enjoy working with people and don’t mind odd hours. But you should be an excellent salesperson with a remarkable ability to network.

Day Traders

Day traders are investors who make money by purchasing investments and then selling them on the same day. If you have an eye for a great investment and aren’t afraid of risk, day trading can be a good choice for you.

The average day trader makes about $75,000 a year, but some make much more than this. Like many careers, a lot of your income comes from hard work, skills, and patience.

Day trading isn’t something I recommend that you do on your own. Most people can’t beat the market and underperform instead.

Medical Professionals

There are many different medical professions, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, dentists, and others. Because of the education and skill required, most medical professionals make an excellent income.

Although there’s a vast range of professions related to medicine that would be impossible to cover in this article, many of the highest-paid professionals make well over six figures. But there is a trade-off with the amount of education and time needed to succeed.

Why is becoming rich so hard?

Oddly, making money is not nearly as difficult as becoming rich. It is pretty challenging to become wealthy off of just a salary.

After all, there are outside factors to consider, like taxes, which usually take a lot of your income. And of course, those that make more tend to spend more.

This is known as lifestyle inflation or lifestyle creep, where you continually spend more as your income increases to keep up with what is expected for your salary range – cars, houses, exotic vacations, etc.

Sometimes becoming wealthy takes more than just a good salary. It also takes a willingness to think outside of the box, work harder, and do more than others are willing to do.

You may need to start a business, build up passive income sources, or work longer hours than others.

And being rich is about becoming wealthy, which isn’t done through buying things. Instead, it’s done through the accumulation of assets and saving strategically.

Building wealth is a long game that requires much more than making a lot of income.

Are millionaires hard working?

Yes and no. Millionaires are people who are willing to find better ways of doing things.

Meaning they work in a more innovative way, but they don’t necessarily work harder than other people. So yes, millionaires work hard to become wealthy, but they are strategic and make their money work for them instead of just working more hours. 

It’s possible to be very hard working but not wealthy, and it’s also possible to work as hard as the average person and have a lot of wealth. It depends on your decisions and financial education.

Whether you make good investments or spend all your income – it just comes down to choices.

Also, millionaires or those with wealth may work harder upfront than others do. They might work longer hours and start numerous side hustles at the beginning of their careers.

However, as they get older, it’s possible that they’ve set up their income sources, so they may not work as hard during the second half of their careers.

Hence, they work harder up front and can enjoy the benefits later. But this is just one possibility, and there are other ways, as well. 

Reasons why working hard won’t make you rich

So hard work alone does not make you rich, but why? Here are the top reasons. 

Hard physical work is no longer required to earn money

There is no longer a need to work a physically demanding job to make money. There are plenty of jobs available that are based in an office, and even work-from-home jobs can make you an excellent income. 

Not to mention, many manual labor jobs are starting to be done by robots and machines, leaving humans to do less demanding labor. So just because you work a physically difficult job doesn’t mean you will become rich or earn a lot of money.

Trading time for money does not make you rich

Some may think that working a lot of hours will make you rich. But trading time for money doesn’t necessarily do that.

People may work 80 hours a week and spend everything they earn, resulting in no wealth at all.

You’ll want to retire and not work as many hours at some point. But if you haven’t created a retirement or financial plan, you may be unable to stop working because you still need to pay your bills. 

Instead, you must be wise with your earnings and build passive income streams to become rich. You can eventually stop trading time for money and be wealthy.

Hard physical work keeps you from exercising your mind

If you work hard at a physical job all day, you’ll be exhausted most of the time. And this can keep you from exercising your mind.

It may stop you from learning new skills or thinking of ways to create more income.

This means you won’t learn the things necessary to work a different job or make more money. Instead, you’ll have to keep working long, hard hours.

Spending all your time working keeps you from having the time to raise your financial IQ

You may not have much time or energy for learning when you work many hours a week. So you won’t be reading finance books or taking classes that could give you the necessary knowledge to become wealthy.

This may stop you from building passive income streams and investing due to a lack of knowledge, which means you’ll need to keep working to pay for your expenses.

Just working a job for someone else will not make you rich. You need to diversify

In this day and age, only having one income isn’t a great plan. Many people work side gigs or have their own businesses.

It’s essential to not just work for someone else, work your hours, and get paid. You can certainly start this way, but you’ll need to diversify and create more income streams at some point.

If your only source of income is your job, you may have difficulty becoming rich. Instead, focus on setting up passive income sources and investing to make money for your future.

Hard work by itself will not make you rich

Hard work is a necessary component of becoming rich. But it isn’t the only thing.

You must earn an income, create more income sources, plan for your money, and understand wealth to become rich.

You need many things to become wealthy, and hard work may be the start, but at some point, you should have worked hard enough to sit back, relax, and enjoy living off the money you’ve made. Good choices and knowledge of finances will ultimately make you rich, not just hard work.

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