I am an optimist. Plain and simple. The glass is not only half full...I wanted it only half full so my lovely fumé blanc does not get too warm. I am sure I can be an annoying Pollyanna at times but it is just how I am wired. The other night I had the unique opportunity of hearing the famous optimist, Bert Jacobs, co-founder of Life is good, speak. He spoke about how he and his brother built their business, the power of optimism and the Life is good Playmakers non-profit, to which 10% of all their sales goes. Let me just say, I drank the Kool-Aid and asked for more. A cynic may find many of the Life is good mottos like, "Do what you like, like what you do." cheesy but Bert was so authentic in his delivery his energy was contagious. He had a room full of men in suits standing in applause at the end. In this day and age of political partisans, fiscal cliffs, natural disasters and thousands of other things to keep you up at night, it was wonderful to hear about a company keeping all that in check trough optimism. I strive to do the same with my little company of one.
Here are some of my iPhone pics from the event.
Here is Bert's official bio.
BERT JACOBS Co-Founder and Chief Executive Optimist, The Life is good Company
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. Jake, Life is good’s iconic hero with the contagious smile, teaches men, women and children that optimism is fun, healthy, and empowering.
In 1994, with a combined sum of just $78 in the bank, Bert and his brother John officially launched Life is good. Today, Life is good products are sold by over 4,500 retailers nationwide. Bert, John, and The Life is good Company are living proof that “Optimism can take you anywhere.”
Believing that consumers are overwhelmed by too much “advertising noise” in the marketplace, Life is good focuses on forging meaningful, emotional connections, and relies heavily on consumer word of mouth to build its brand.Because Life is good considers children its ultimate source for inspiration, the company is committed to helping kids through the work of the Life is good Playmakers.
Fusing the interests of children facing life-threatening challenges with the interests of its business at every touch-point, Life is good presents a powerful and inspiring model for seamlessly integrating a for-profit and a non-profit. After graduating from Villanova University in 1987 with a degree in Communications, Bert enjoyed stints as a ski instructor, pizza delivery man, and substitute teacher. Bert focuses his energy on where the Life is good brand is going next. When not overseeing the business, he enjoys live music, travel, surfing and a full-tilt game of Ultimate Frisbee. Claim to fame: he once jumped into the Boston Marathon with zero training and finished in less than four hours.
Bert has appeared on CNN’s Tips from the Top, CNBC’s Business Nation, and The Donny Deutsch Show. Life is good has been featured on ABC News Nightline, NBC’s The Today Show, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc Magazine, and Body + Soul, among others.
Bert is the second youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA. He credits his mother with teaching his brother and him to face the bumps in the road with a smile. The Jacobs brothers see simplicity, humility, and a sense of humor as the three keys to Life is good’s continued success.