If you’re searching for inspiration to help your career, look no further than Shirley Hughes (1928–2014). She may be gone now, but the children’s book author left behind plenty of wisdom that can help anyone reach their goals in life. Here are some of the key lessons Shirley Hughes taught us during her lifetime. Life Lessons from the Children's Book Author Shirley Hughes For many children’s book authors, that something is children. From Julia Donaldson to Jacqueline Wilson and from Kate DiCamillo to Lauren Child, many successful authors say they found a love for their craft as they created stories with their own children. If you’re planning on becoming a novelist or writing picture books, take some time to look at how you interact with your kids—you might discover something about your own style and interests. And who knows? Life Lessons from the Children's Book Author Shirley Hughes Build your career around something you love Book Author Shirley Hughes NameShirley HughesBorn:16 July 1927, West Kirby, United KingdomDied:25 February 2022Spouse:John Vulliamy (m. –2007)ParentsThomas J HughesNotable awardsKate Greenaway Medal; 1977, 2003Children:Ed Vulliamy, Clara VulliamyOccupationIllustrator, writerNationalityBritishPeriod1960–2022GenreChildren's literature, picture booksNotable worksDogger Hard work will pay off It may be hard to believe when you're stuck in a rut, but it really is true that if you put your mind to something and work diligently toward achieving your goals, eventually it will happen. That doesn't mean you shouldn't reach out for help or accept that getting what you want will be easy (because both of those things are true), but remember that it won't come without effort. Create opportunities for yourself In life, you get out what you put in. So for everything you do—your job, your relationships—try to put your best foot forward and offer as much value as possible. Don’t wait for opportunities to come knocking; make them yourself by offering a helpful hand or being more thoughtful with every interaction. If no one takes notice, then so be it: You have made that opportunity count by simply trying your best. And someday soon, those actions will be rewarded with something that was worth waiting for. Book Author Shirley Hughes Never give up Like many other successful business people, Hughes' career didn't take off right away. During her mid-20s, she struggled to get her books published and was told time and again that what she produced was simply not good enough. After one publisher made it clear that they would never publish any of her work, Hughes nearly gave up on her dream of becoming a writer. Her brother convinced her to keep going: Keep trying for another year, he said. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about what they do It’s difficult to get into a creative mindset when you’re surrounded by people who are obsessed with status and money. If your colleagues want to chit-chat about their weekend plans, they should be making new business connections, brainstorming ways to increase productivity at work or reading a book that can help them do their job better. As author Sara Blakely said in her 2012 TED Talk, You cannot surround yourself with every single person who is going to stroke your ego. Don't be afraid to ask for help It might seem easier to go it alone, but sometimes when we ask for help, our lives become richer and more productive. Whether you’re working on a manuscript or building your dream home, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance when you need it. It’s part of what makes us human.