How Jessica Alba Overcame 'Imposter Syndrome' to Build Her Honest Company Empire

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Julie Farin
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Actor. Advocate. Mother. Mogul. All words to describe multi-hyphenate star Jessica Alba. But despite her impressive roster of accomplishments, the Mexican-American entrepreneur, 39, recently told PEOPLE's Senior Style and Beauty Editor Jacqueline Fields that she has battled feelings of unworthiness.

"I've always had this imposter syndrome thing – and I always felt like I didn't deserve to be here," Alba revealed of building her business during the third installment of #StraightTalk, an interview series organized by the employee resource group Women @ Meredith. [Meredith is PEOPLE's parent corporation.]

"I always felt like it was God, and luck and magic that had got me here," Alba continued during the discussion. "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."

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Alba, a globally recognized businesswoman and New York Times bestselling author of The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You, founded The Honest Company in 2012. The lifestyle empire has become a leader in the natural baby category and a trailblazer in clean products. She continued to build the brand's outreach with the launch of Honest Beauty in 2015, a successful wellness, skincare and beauty line. That same year Forbes valued the company at $1 billion.

Jessica credits Warren, her husband of 12 years, with helping her gain self-confidence. "My husband has the mentality of, 'I deserve to be here' — even though he is also a person of color," she shared during the Women @ Meredith webinar.

"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 added, referring to her father-in-law, Michael Warren, 74, best known for playing Officer Bobby Hill on the long-running NBC television series Hill Street Blues.

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Alba explained that her husband, 42, "always felt like, 'if I don't treat myself with that respect, how do I expect anyone else to treat me with that respect?' And so that's just the way he carries himself — not entitled in a way that you normally sort of hear it — but like, 'I deserve to be here.'"

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The couple met in 2004 during the filming of the superhero blockbuster Fantastic Four, where she portrayed the Marvel Comics character Invisible Woman. They have three children: daughters, Honor Marie, 12 and Haven Garner, 9, and a son, Hayes, 3.