do the hard way
do (something) the hard way
To do something by using the most challenging method. Of course he crawled in though the window instead of just opening the unlocked back door—he has to do everything the hard way.
do something the hard way
to accomplish something in the most difficult manner, rather than by an easier way. I made it to this job the hard way. I came up through the ranks. She did it the hard way. She had no help from her parents.