Bert Jacobs | Co-Founder and Chief Executive Optimist of "Life is Good"

Bert Jacobs

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Optimist of "Life is Good"

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Boston, MA, United States

Bert Jacobs

Bert 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 over 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 who constantly demonstrate the depth and meaning behind the three simple words "Life is Good."
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, which helps over 1 million kids overcome the impact of poverty, violence, and illness each year. In making their company a fully integrated for-profit/ non-profit 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.

Bert Jacobs
Featured Videos

Current: Speaker Reel

Time 02:24

More Videos From Bert Jacobs

Speaker Reel
Time 02:24
Goalcast: Change YOUR Perspective and Live YOUR Success
Time 05:17
Bert and John Jacobs - Virtual Talk
Time 37:32
Why Life is Good
Time 02:45

Bert Jacobs
Featured Keynote Programs

Optimism Can Take You Anywhere

Bert Jacobs is co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist of The Life is good Company. A privately held business based in Boston, MA, Life is good® spreads positive vibes through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories and through its social mission to help kids overcome poverty, violence and illness. Bert combines innovative business lessons, humor, and inspired story-telling to weave the compelling story of how he and his brother John, with a combined sum of just $78 in the bank, launched a business that now sells products in over 4,500 retailers nationwide.

Life is good attracts a rapidly growing community of optimists, including over 1.2 followers on Facebook, by forging meaningful, emotional connections. Fusing the interests of children facing life-threatening challenges with the interests of its business at every touch-point, Life is good also presents a powerful and inspiring model for seamlessly integrating a for-profit and a non-profit.

Bert's innovative lessons on branding, leadership and corporate social responsibility apply to organizations of all sizes, and his inspiring story will help you see how optimism can truly take you anywhere.

What For-Profits can Learn from Nonprofits

The smartest capitalists of today and in the future will integrate social work into their businesses–their customers demand it. Doing so draws out a deeper purpose in corporate work and strengthens organizations. Bert explains the benefits of philanthropizing for-profit organizations and guides audiences through the process: from integrating charity into the sales process, to marketing the message, to cultivating a genuine culture of social good in the workplace. Bert has lived and breathed “giving” at every stage of Life is Good’s growth, making his ideas and experiences relevant to audiences of any size.

Harnessing the Power of Optimism to Innovate and Thrive in Times of Change

Now more than ever, business leaders foresee significant change ahead for their companies. 71% of CEO’s expect the next 3 years to be more critical for their industry than the last 50 years combined. Jacobs’s presentation helps companies harness the power of optimism by creating a “yes, and” culture focused on seeing opportunities and building a brand that will stand the test of time.

The Secret to Building (and Keeping) Your Audience

Life is Good’s core message of optimism and resilience was inspired largely by its customers who, over the years, have shared hundreds of personal stories about how optimism has helped them in times of great adversity. As a result, the positive lifestyle brand has gathered a passionately loyal customer base–after all, they helped build it. From the company’s inception–starting with Jake, the smiley-faced Life is Good mascot–the Jacobs brothers have incorporated community feedback into the creation of their brand, and still continue to do so today. In this presentation, Jacobs shares lessons on co-creating with your community to build loyalty, relevance, and a deeply personal connection with your audience.

Bert Jacobs
Featured Book

Life is Good: The Bookby Bert Jacobs

Life is Good: The Book

by Bert Jacobs

From Life is Good founders and brothers Bert and John Jacobs, this inspiring book of wisdom celebrates the power of optimism: the driving force behind their beloved, socially conscious clothing and lifestyle brand, now worth more than $100 million.

Following the chronology of their personal and professional journeys, Bert and John share their unique ride—from their scrappy upbringing outside Boston to the unlikely runaway success of their business. The brothers illuminate ten key "superpowers" accessible to us all: openness, courage, simplicity, humor, gratitude, fun, compassion, creativity, authenticity, and love. Their story, illustrated with the company's iconic artwork, shows how to overcome obstacles and embrace opportunities—whether it's growing stronger from rejection, letting your imagination loose, or simplifying your life to focus on what matters most. 

In these colorful pages, Bert and John's plainspoken insights are paired with inspiring quotations, playful top-ten lists, deeply moving letter from the Life is Good community, and valuable takeaways from tapping the power of optimism to live your best life. Both entertaining and profound, Life is Good: The Book is the ultimate guide to embracing and growing the good in your life.

Bert Jacobs
Featured Reviews

Bert Jacobs
Featured Articles & Resources

Life is (still) good: T-shirt company finds not even coronavirus can kill optimism

Derek Catron, USA TODAY Life is good. It’s more than a slogan. For more than 25 years, it’s been an ethos for the company that makes $100 million a year printing...
Read More

Life is (still) good: T-shirt company finds not even coronavirus can kill optimism

Derek Catron, USA TODAY Life is good. It’s more than a slogan. For more than 25 years, it’s been an ethos for the company that makes $100 million a year printing...
Read More

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