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Bert  Jacobs

Bert Jacobs

Co-Founder & CEO (Chief Executive Optimist) of Life is Good


Bert and his brother John launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling T-shirts in the streets of Boston. Using their leadership abilities, they have turned Life is Good into a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by over 2,000 retailers across the US and Canada. Read More >

Bert worked as a ski instructor and pizza delivery guy in Vail, CO before teaming with his brother John to design and sell T-shirts in college dorms up and down the East Coast. After five years traveling in their van together, the brothers officially launched Life is Good with the mission to spread the power of optimism.

Early on, Bert and John were inspired by stories of people, mainly children, facing great adversity. These stories illustrated that optimism is most powerful in the darkest of times and motivated the creation of a fully integrated business model dedicated to helping kids in need. Life is Good donates at least 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Kids Foundation to positively impact over 120,000 kids daily facing poverty, violence, and illness.

Bert focuses his energy on leading the overall creative vision and creating the art and message for the brand across categories. He enjoys live music, travel, and surfing. His shoes do not always match.

To inspire others to choose optimism and grow the good in their lives, Bert and John wrote Life is Good: The Book/ How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride, published by National Geographic in September 2015.

Bert has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities for entrepreneurship, business innovation and philanthropy. A top speaker on leadership, he and Life is Good have been featured on CNNMoney, CNBC’s Business Nation, ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s The Today ShowThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine, among others. A leading motivational and inspirational speaker speaker, Bert spreads the message of optimism paired with business advice on cultivating a culture of optimism and going beyond a customer-focused enterprise to build a lasting audience.

Bert and John are the youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA. They credit their mother as the first powerful optimist in their lives, and the inspiration for Life is Good. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: The Power of Optimism

TEDTalk: Do What You Like, Like What You Do

Life is Good Virtual Commencement Recap

Allow Your Customer Base to Co Author Your Brand

Maintaining Openness in Business

Why Life Is Good?

Speech Topics

Optimism Can Take You Anywhere

Bert Jacobs and his brother John launched the Life is Good Company with $78 in their pockets selling t-shirts on the streets of Boston. Today, Life is Good is a $100-million, positive lifestyle brand sold by more than 2,000 retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Their inspiring business story and lessons on optimism and corporate social responsibility will demonstrate how focusing on the good can transform your mindset, business, and take you anywhere Read More >

Tailor your keynote to emphasize:

  • Embracing the power of optimism to innovate and thrive in times of change: Business leaders see significant change ahead for their companies as 71% of CEO’s expect the next 3 years as being more critical for their industry than the last 50. Jacobs dives into creating a “yes, and” culture focused on opportunities (not obstacles) and brand-building that will stand the test of time.
  • Cultivating a culture of optimism from the inside out: Jacobs shares experience from Life is Good to help audiences discover their own sense of optimism to uncover a deeper meaning to the work they do. Lessons on gratitude, openness, and compassion show how simple mindset shifts can transform company culture that can be felt by your customers and beyond.
  • Going beyond “customer-focused” to build (and keep) your audience: Life is Good was built largely in part by its customers to become the iconic brand it is today. Jacobs shares lessons on brand building with your community to build loyalty and relevance.
  • Positive Purpose: More than ever, consumers are demanding brands they buy from are socially responsible. Jacobs shares the LiG story and inspires audiences to integrate a deeper meaning into their work... the authentic way.
  • The Power of Optimism: in Jacobs’ keynote talk, discover how to live life with purpose and enjoy the ride


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