When she was pregnant with her first child, Jessica Alba became violently allergic to a conventional washing product. It was then that she knew she had to do something to bring up her daughter in a less toxic environment.
What started out three years ago as a passion to bring clean, non-toxic and environmentally friendly household products to families, has now spawned into a $1 billion company. Plans for an IPO are already underway.
Coupled with her acting career, her role as a mum and founder of her company, how is Alba able to be so successful? Although her celebrity status has been instrumental, there are concrete productivity lessons any ordinary entrepreneur can learn from this momprenuer.
Alba has commitments as an actress but she still makes time to show up at the office to see how things are running.
As a business leader, just showing up and making your presence felt can inspire your team to stay committed to the project and to attain important milestones.
A major time suck for entrepreneurs is trying to do everything on their own.
It is true that you must fully understand the intricacies of your business and your market. However, if you are not great at product design or marketing, asking someone who is can save you a lot of time, money and effort.
After reading Christopher Gavigan’s book Healthy Child Healthy World, Alba reached out to him and to Brian Lee, a well-known serial entrepreneur and founder of ShoeDazzle. With their help and expertise, Jessica was able to create a line of products that is steeped in scientific research and is aesthetically appealing.
Meanwhile, Alba leveraged her celebrity status to create buzz for her products. Unsurprisingly, her company has been able to make great strides in such a short time, with profits for 2014 totaling to $150 million.
According to the actress, if somebody said to her that she would set up a successful e-commerce business she would have laughed hard at them.
Nevertheless, she stumbled upon an opportunity to create a product that she and other families need to stay healthy.
Once she discovered her passion for a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle, she dedicated her time and effort into bringing her passion to life.
At a DealBook Conference in New York, Alba admitted that being in business could be extremely stressful. However, her passion for the products she creates have driven her to build a successful company and to show up to work every day.
Lesson: To be productive at your business, you need to be honest about whether you are passionate or you are only driven by the monetary rewards.
Nevertheless, she says that she gets very creative with how she splits her time. When she is shooting a movie, she brings her daughters to location so she can spend time with them during breaks. When she goes to the office, she also brings the babies along to spend more time with them.
By creatively and efficiently using her time, “everything else just sort of works out,” according to the actress.
All entrepreneurs struggle to balance their different roles. Nevertheless, it is possible to make the most of your time whether that means delegating, prioritizing or outsourcing.
Perhaps the biggest lesson to learn from Jessica Alba is the importance of shortening the learning curve as much as possible, so you can focus on the core aspects of your business. The best way to save time and maximize productivity is to ask for help to complement your own expertise.