-- Growing up, Jessica Alba says she always wanted to be an actress but her reasoning might be surprising.
“I was really uncomfortable in my own skin, and so if I got to be someone else, there was something so liberating about that.” The 36-year-old actress and founder of The Honest Company told Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis”.
“I really loved superheroes, and so I always wanted to be one,” Alba added.
What began with appearances in Nintendo commercials became guest starring roles in shows like "Beverly Hills, 90210," and by 2001 Alba earned a Golden Globe nomination for her breakout role in the sci-fi series “Dark Angel.”
Having made her mark on the big screen (films including “Honey,” “Sin City” and “Into the Blue”), Alba began to shift her focus to her growing family and her worries about the ingredients in the products she used every day for her family. Wanting something with as few added chemicals as possible, she couldn’t find what she wanted to buy. The Honest Company was born.
“I just felt, wouldn’t it be easier to just have one company that does all the hard work for me, and that I know human health and safety is No. 1 for them?” Alba added.
She believes her company is a billion-dollar success because it speaks directly to its community through household products, her book “The Honest Life,” and through an active social media with The Honest Company’s blog.
“It’s more like a friend," she said. "And the education is accessible and easy to understand and digestible. And then, building a community of like-minded folks – I thought was really important.”
Her take on commanding respect in her latest endeavor?
“I think you have to operate with self-awareness in everything that you do. And I think you have to know your audience. I think it’s how you communicate what you’re trying to get across, whether it’s something someone agrees with or not, if you do it in a tactful way, you will have respect,” Alba says.
The toughest lesson she learned in business is like the toughest lesson she learned in love: being able to grow from your experiences.
“I think the biggest thing is when you do get slighted -- it’s sort of like my first boyfriend who really broke my heart. It was hard for me to love again, and I think no one should ever affect you so much, or hurt you so much that they close you off and close your heart off from trusting, or experiencing a real human connection.”
For someone who became an actor to become someone else, Alba’s biggest success may be a more recent achievement, being herself.
“I think you just kind of have to be happy with your journey, and you have to be on your own journey. You have to find joy in small things, and you have to try and live in the moment as much as possible because life is short.”
Listen to the full interview on ABC Radio's top business podcast, "No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis".