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Jessica Alba Speaks To USC On The Business Of Being Honest

Kristin Marguerite Doidge |
April 16, 2015 | 9:10 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

“You are enough. All you need is passion and a will,” Jessica Alba told the crowd at USC (Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen).
“You are enough. All you need is passion and a will,” Jessica Alba told the crowd at USC (Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen).
Accomplished Hollywood actress-turned entrepreneur Jessica Alba knows how to keep it real, and how to bring a crowd. Around 1,200 USC students, staff and faculty packed into the Bovard auditorium on Wednesday, April 15, for her talk on “The Business of Going Green.” 

The event was presented by the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (as part of Professor David Belasco’s entrepreneurship class), USC Speakers Committee, and Alba appeared as the USC Earth Month 2015's signature speaker on behalf of the USC Environmental Student Assembly.

Alba spoke about everything from diapers to discipline, to defining ideas as an entrepreneur, with charming and eloquent honesty, the very foundation on which she built The Honest Company -- a “little startup in Santa Monica” -- that now has over 300 employees and grossed $150 million in revenue last year. 

Dressed down in an all-white casual ensemble, she had us from "Hello," and her perfect “da duh dah dah” humming of the USC fight song -- complete with her fingers in a victory “V” -- as she recounted the story that her father had dreamt she’d “go to USC and be a tennis pro” brought down the house. 

Students reveled in her articulate advice and had the opportunity to ask their own specific questions in an extended “Q&A” session at the end of the talk. Alba patiently answered each one thoughtfully, including the last question, which came from Mr. Lloyd Greif himself. 

Here were the top five pieces of advice Alba shared last night on entrepreneurship, motherhood, and the business of being honest:


On giving back: “Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves.” 


On priorities: “No, I haven’t figured out work-life balance,” Alba laughed, “but my kids are my priority, so as long as they’re happy, I know I can take on anything else.” 


On women in leadership: “Get your seat at the table...and make the boys take the notes.” 


On breaking through:  “You have to have naysayers; that’s how you know you have a great idea.” 


On self-doubt: “You are enough. All you need is passion and a will.” 


The next USC Speakers Committee event features Nicole Byer from MTV's "Girl Code," slated for April 20. 

Follow the USC Speakers Committee on Twitter here.  

Contact Staff Reporter Kristin Marguerite Doidge here or follow her on Twitter here



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