Co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist, Life is Good®
Bert Jacobs is the co-founder of the $150 million lifestyle brand Life is Good. When he and his brother John started the company in 1994, they had $78 in their pockets, lived out of their van, and sold t-shirts on the streets of Boston. Was this their way of avoiding the “real world?” You betcha. Did it turn into something much bigger? Absolutely.
It has been more than 25 years since they sold their first t-shirt, but Bert and John champion the same mission: to spread the power of optimism. On their journey, they’ve been inspired by a vibrant community of resilient optimists—people from all walks of life who identify deeply with the brand and who constantly demonstrate the depth and meaning behind the three simple words “Life is good.”
But here’s the thing: While Bert and John believe life is good, they also know life isn’t perfect, which is why Life is Good donates 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Kids Foundation. Through its signature Playmaker Program, the Life is Good Kids Foundation helps more than 1 million kids overcome the impact of poverty, violence, and illness each year. In making their company a fully integrated for-profit/nonprofit model, the brothers hope to use their business as a vehicle to do good in the world.
Because of his unique perspective that ties rational optimism to business, Bert has been asked to share his transformative message at a wide range of corporate and thought-leadership conferences, including Inc 5000, Morgan Stanley, SAP Sapphire, Discover, and more. He and John have been featured in Forbes, NPR’s How I Built This, CNNMoney, CNBC’s Business Nation, ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s The Today Show, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine, among others.