Jessica Alba, actress, mother, wife, and most recently entrepreneur, was faced with a dilemma when she was expecting her daughter, Honor. She had broken out in hives when washing her baby's clothing and was afraid of the impact the detergent would have on her baby. When searching for a substitute detergent, Alba found that most baby products, in fact, were full of chemicals.
Inspired by her own skin sensitivities and her daughter, she co-founded The Honest Company in 2011 to "help moms and to give all children a better, safer start." The company guarantees, via its Honestly FREE Guarantee, that its products are made without potentially health-compromising chemicals or compounds. It also pledges a commitment to fair labor.
In 2012, the company’s first year, sales reached $10 million. In 2014, the company made $170 million in sales. In 2015, it was valued at $1.7 billion.
So, how does one help run a very successful company? In a 2015 Shape magazine interview, Alba set out some key skills and values that she says have helped her along the way.
“I’m always hustling,” Alba said in the interview. It should go without saying but hard work is a key to success. Getting where you want and what you want is nearly impossible without it. Plus, having a good work ethic sets a good foundation for the way you will run your business.
2. Think creatively.
According to Alba, “[W]henever I’m confronted by a challenge or a problem, I don't see limitations or boundaries or anything that would deter me from the goal. Instead of saying something can’t be done or that it’s impossible, I think creatively on how to tackle the problem. Nothing's impossible, you just have to figure out how to do it in a smart, simple, effective and efficient way.” Creative thinking is important for problem-solving, as well as goal-setting. Thinking outside of the box and expanding your boundaries can help you deal with seemingly big issues and set you up for even greater success.
3. Use you common sense.
“I think I have a lot of common sense. That quality is really underrated,” Alba said.
4. Trust your gut.
Trusting oneself is not the easiest, especially when big decisions have to be made. It is, however, essential. Alba said, “I trust my gut, which is really important for an entrepreneur.”Believe in yourself, your decisions, and your abilities. Stop doubting and start doing.
Of entrepreneurship, Alba reflects, “If it was easy, everyone would do it. You have to be a little bit crazy; you have to have gumption and tenacity. A lot of people give up at the first roadblock. But, for entrepreneurs, if there isn’t another road, we create it. We break concrete; we throw dynamite; we figure it out.”
If you are a mother, that surely adds a challenge but there are plenty of men who are successful and are fathers. When asked by a Vanity Fair reporter how Alba splits her time between being a successful entrepreneur and a good parent, Alba replied, “Let me ask you something: how many men get asked that question?”
Jackie is the owner of her blog Moments of Musing, where she writes about her life as a wife, mom, and more living in New York City. She works with survivors of intimate partner violence.
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