Brothers Bert and John Jacobs are the co-founders of The Life is Good Company, a T shirt company known for groundbreaking charitable work, especially benefiting children. In fact, at least 10% of their profits are now designated towards the Life Is Good Kids Foundation, which help children affected by poverty, violence and disease.
As a keynote speaker Bert Jacobs reminds us that each day when we wake up, we have the choice to focus either on what’s wrong with our lives or on what’s right with our lives. His belief is that the road to changing what we need to fix (whether personally or in business) is best done by focusing on the things that are working. He’d also argue that “focusing on what’s right with the world, is the best way to fix what’s wrong with the world”.
In his touching keynote speech, Bert shares his journey of growing up one of 6 kids (in a family that could really only afford two kids) and the way his mother asked each kid an essential question every night at the dinner table …“what’s something good that happened today?”. Bert and his brother John got the idea to design and sell T Shirts and as they traveled the country in a van for five years, they were particularly aware of the impact of the negative press and other cultural negative forces. In their attempt to brand the positive, they were able to trademark the name “life is good”. That brand was so strong they started selling T shirts like they never had before, regardless of their own inexperience.
As Bert would say, “We weren’t born for business, business was born for us”. Business for the Life Is Good team is simply a tool for spreading optimism and open mindedness. Their little company continues to grow and needy children benefit from each of their next deals (whether with Smuckers or Hallmark). He reminds us that life is nothing more than a road trip – we should all make sure to appreciate what we have and enjoy the ride.