Jessica Alba, the co-founder of The Honest Company, suffers from an “imposter” syndrome. The 39-year-old actress-and-businesswoman constantly feels like she is cheating her way through things, and that she doesn’t deserve the success she enjoys. She needs to constantly remind herself that she is worth it. It is not an easy thing to do for the Sin City actor who has paradoxically managed to build up a business empire whose sole focus is on “honesty and transparency”.
Participating in a discussion for #StraightTalk, an online series run by Women @ Meredith, a parent company of People, Jessica reveals, “I’ve always had this imposter syndrome thing – and I always felt like I didn’t deserve to be here. I always felt like it was God, and luck and magic that had got me here. But I think being with my husband [producer Cash Warren] over these years, he let me know, ‘Hey, it’s all the hard work you’ve always put in. You deserve to be here as much as anyone else.’ And over time I guess I’ve sort of let that sink in and marinate.”
Alba credits her husband for helping her keep faith in herself each time she has wavered or had second thoughts about her abilities and hard work. She describes Cash Warren, 42, as a person with an attitude that is in stark contrast to hers. She says, “My husband has the mentality of, ‘I deserve to be here’ — even though he is also a person of color.” She believes that Cash’s environment and upbringing shaped his determination and self-confidence, “He grew up in, as a minority, in a predominantly white Hollywood kind of environment; his dad being one of the few Black actors of his time.”
Alba says Cash helps her dismiss her feelings of being an imposter by constantly reminding her of the effort and struggle she has put in to reach where she was. Jessica Alba co-founded the consumer goods brand in 2011. The Honest Company initially specialized in producing natural alternatives to common baby products. It later expanded its merchandise to include beauty and skincare products. In 2015, the company, whose motto was to focus on “health, wellness, and stability” was valued at $1 billion by Forbes.
Running a business based on the premise of honesty had been challenging for Jessica given her mental insecurities. Nonetheless, she has managed to bring up a successful and profitable business model wherein “health, wellness and sustainability” are integral values as is ethics and transparency.
Analyzing the success of her company, Jessica says, “I believe the reason why consumers are choosing Honest over others is that we have those values, not in spite of, and another huge aspect of our business is that we give back. The actor cum entrepreneur concludes, “I believe that consumers expect companies to have this type of value embedded in the model. And it shouldn’t just be a marketing ploy. It should just be who you are.”
We must say for someone who has trouble believing in themselves, this is a brutally honest opening up.