Sure, everyone who succeeds “works hard” but what the heck does that actually mean?
When you hustle and “work hard”, instead of “keeping busy”, other people notice and want to help you. Family and friends and customers “see” you differently and their relationship to you changes. You also develop a body of work to analyse. You can then exploit trial and error, “suck it and see” aka the scientific method. You gradually develop a trajectory and can visualise extrapolating it in the future.
You bite off more than you can chew and then build and maintain habits after frantically trying to survive. You stay on track and build long streaks of steady performance.
You become soaked in your area and the cumulative effect of fine layer upon layer of exposure and experience, waking and sleeping, subtly and slowly rewires your brain and very eventually changes who you are. All the way through.
Hard work is cumulative, like language or fitness and so you can’t speed up the process by “trying hard”. You have to pay the rent week by week, year by year until you become something different, a new kind of focused instrument. Someone who really knows what hitting a well designed target feels like. Someone who used to make casual mistakes and now checks one last time and then inexorably follows all the way through.