Even Jessica Alba Deals With Imposter Syndrome (2024)

This is all to say that Alba, who admits she'd never done anything even remotely like this before launching the brand, is more than leading the way, she’s paving the road. We caught up with Alba after Honest's IPO to learn about her most valuable business lessons, the beauty ritual that helps her get it all done, and more.

On the Best Advice She's Ever Received

"Anytime I could get advice, I would," Alba says, noting that time and time again, business leaders would echo the same sentiment: "If you build a brand that stands for something, then basically you are differentiated. You are doing something that only you can do and the details matter." So, when an obstacle arises, Alba goes back to the mission, which she describes as "putting people's health and wellness first, thinking of the planet, applying more conscious business practices, and all that we do [in] diversity and inclusion."

She adds, "The further away we've veered from the truth of who we are and why we're here? That's when you find yourself having challenging days," Alba says. "In a lot of ways, trusting my gut and staying focused on the mission; the more I do that, the better everything is."

On Battling Imposter Syndrome

Alba notes that, for many, setting aside one's ego to prioritize the business can be a defining ingredient for success, but for her, it was the opposite extreme. "I have imposter syndrome I had to overcome." she says. "Whenever I have doubted myself, whenever I just felt like maybe I didn't deserve to be here or someone else was more capable than me. I would say that's when the business suffered."

Nearly a decade after officially founding the brand (plus a few more years plotting and planning before that, Alba notes), she controls those doubts by thinking of her daughters and employees. "Thinking about my girls' journey and their confidence level and how I want them to operate in the world, then also the women who have chosen to join my team and show up every day with their full selves," she says. "[This is] my biggest driver in me finding my voice in the business world and not allowing myself to be overshadowed by men, frankly."

On Her Biggest Lesson

Taking time to find the right colleagues was a huge learning curve for Alba. "It took me three years to even go from the idea to find the right folks that would partner with me," she recalls, noting that she allowed herself to be pulled in different directions by individuals she eventually had to separate from. "I went through different iterations of the business and what I set out to do from day one. You have to constantly reassess what you're doing and really hone in on why you're doing it...I decided not to partner with certain people [and] go back to my original plan...I spent probably a year and a half getting sidetracked in the process."

On Valuing Your Own Time

Entrepreneurs often spend endless time on the valuation of the brand — but Alba says she wishes she’d focused on her own value, too. "Allowing yourself to be compensated [after that first moment of success]," she says is vital for stamina. "It took me too long to even consider myself in the equation because I was so focused on the business...I think you need to make space for yourself and you need to value your time."

On the Biggest Mistake She Learned From

"I've made a lot of mistakes," Alba says. "But I would say the one thing, if I can...Just make sure that everyone on your team is moving in the same direction and that you're surrounding yourself with people that are aligned with your vision. It was a hard lesson for me and I feel like I had to learn it a few times."

On the Value of Diverse Hiring

"It's hard for people in a lot of these sectors to do anything differently because they haven't seen it," Alba says about hiring practices that reverberate throughout various parts of business. "We hope to be one of those companies that can kind of defy the status quo…once you get more comfortable seeing women in leadership roles, a Mexican woman founding a company, the more of that is allowed — and that's part of the conversation — I think it opens more doors for more people of color, more women, to have that seat at the table."

On the DTC Debate

Honest is an omnichannel brand, first selling direct-to-consumer online then adding retailers like Target during expansion. Alba's learned the pros and cons to each. "There's value in both," she says, noting that building community online while providing information about the brand and product is crucial to driving DTC sales. "If you just think of access to your story [and] access to your product, I recommend that you do start online." A retailer's minimum orders, packaging requirements, and other requirements, while exciting, can crush new businesses, she says. "There's also a lower barrier to entry," she says about DTC, noting how complicated traditional retail can be. "I recommend bringing in people who've done it before, that can kind of help you work through a lot of those pain points if it's possible."

On Knowing Innovation Takes Investment

"If you rely on third-party partners to formulate...you are so dependent on your co-packers and their ability to formulate to your standards, whatever clean means to you," Alba says about a common practice in beauty where a third-party lab and factory makes and packages products for a variety of brands. "You end up not being able to do a ton of innovation because they're just thinking of bulk buying raw materials and raw ingredients. So that's why you see out in the marketplace lots of brands that come out around the same time with a lot of the same types of products, it's because they're all using the same kind of co-packers."

Even Jessica Alba Deals With Imposter Syndrome (2024)


What are the 5 types of imposter syndrome? ›

Expert on the subject, Dr. Valerie Young, has categorized it into subgroups: the Perfectionist, the Superwoman/man, the Natural Genius, the Soloist, and the Expert. In her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, Dr.

Is Jessica Alba still involved with Honest Company? ›

Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba is leaving her baby and beauty products brand, The Honest Company, after 12 years running it as its chief creative officer. Alba founded The Honest Company in 2012 and took it public in 2021 at a valuation of $1.4 billion.

What is the imposter syndrome theory? ›

The impostor phenomenon is the tendency of high achieving individuals to feel as though their success was not earned and instead is a result of luck or a mistake. Impostors often feel anxiety at the thought of failure or being discovered as a fraud (Clance & O'Toole, 1987).

Who suffers the most from imposter syndrome? ›

Imposter syndrome affects people of all genders, races, and backgrounds. However, research has shown that it is particularly prevalent among women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups.

What are the 3 P's of imposter syndrome? ›

Based on her landmark Imposter Syndrome Research Studies, global Imposter Syndrome authority Clare Josa defines the 4 Ps as People Pleasing, Perfectionism, Paralysis and Procrastination.

What are the 4 P's of imposter syndrome? ›

So the four piece are perfectionism procrastination project Paralysis and People Pleasing.

What triggers imposter syndrome? ›

Calling attention to one's success, ironically, can unleash feelings of imposter syndrome. This could occur when receiving an award, passing an exam, or being promoted. Failure after a string of successes can also cause someone to critique and question their overall aptitude.

How do you fix imposter syndrome? ›

5 Tips for Overcoming Impostor Syndrome
  1. Open Up. Secrecy and shame are key features of impostor syndrome. ...
  2. Accept Positive Feedback. People with impostor syndrome tend to deny praise in any form. ...
  3. Keep a Log. ...
  4. Embrace Positive Self-Talk. ...
  5. Break Out of Your Comfort Zone.
Jun 2, 2023

What is the crippling imposter syndrome? ›

Those who have it may doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments. They may have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as frauds. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon do not believe they deserve their success or luck.

Are people with imposter syndrome intelligent? ›

Anyone Can Suffer from Imposter Syndrome: Why Intelligence and Success Don't Immune You. Good news — for sure you're not alone with this. In fact, it's a common affliction among smart, capable people.

What is female imposter syndrome? ›

IP is a pattern of chronic feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt associated with a fear of being discovered as a “fraud.” With IP, a person believes that he or she has fooled others into thinking they are competent. 6. Such feelings occur even in the setting of achievement and success. 7,8.

What are the big 5 imposter syndrome? ›

Imposter phenomenon was significantly positively associated with neuroticism and perfectionism (rigid, self-critical, and narcissistic), and significantly negatively associated with extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. ...

What mental illness is imposter syndrome? ›

Imposter syndrome isn't an official diagnosis, but it is a serious form of self-doubt. People with imposter syndrome tend to have anxiety and depression, too. if you're struggling with how you see yourself, talking to a counselor could really help.

What is the new name for imposter syndrome? ›

Capgras syndrome may be called imposter syndrome because those with the condition believe that imposters have replaced their loved ones. This symptom of Capgras is an actual delusion, while the other imposter syndrome refers to an internal belief about oneself.

What is Capgras syndrome? ›

Capgras syndrome (CS), or delusion of doubles, is a delusional misidentification syndrome. It is a syndrome characterized by a false belief that an identical duplicate has replaced someone significant to the patient. In CS, the imposter can also replace an inanimate object or an animal.


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