Power Players

Jeff Bezos: Making this 1 choice is the key to success

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Choosing to work hard is key when it comes to being successful, according to Jeff Bezos.

"You get certain gifts in life, and you want to take advantage of those," Bezos said during a 2017 Q&A at Seattle's Museum of Flight.

But working hard at what you're good at?  "That's a choice," says Bezos.

For example, "you might be really good at math; it might be really easy for you. That's a kind of gift," Bezos said. "But practicing that math, and taking it to the next step, that could be very challenging and hard, and take a lot of sweat."

The choice to do the work is an important one, according to the Amazon CEO, who has an estimated net worth of $133 billion.

"When you have a gift and then you work hard, you're really going to leverage that gift. When you do that well, it will lead to your success," Bezos said at a 2018 gala for global nonprofit First.

Hard work is certainly key to Amazon's success. Its famous internal motto is "Work hard. Have fun. Make history," and Bezos and Amazon have even been criticized for asking too much of company employees.

But maximizing your talents by working hard is the advice Bezos gives to his own kids — that and do something you're passionate about.

"That's going to make it easier for you to make that choice to work hard," Bezos said at the gala.

Hard work is something to be proud of, according to Bezos.

"You can't really be proud of your gifts, because they were given to you," he said in the 2017 Q&A. "You can be grateful for them, and thankful for them. But, your choices — you choose to work hard, you choose to do hard things — those are choices that you can be proud of."

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
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