One Question Their Mom Asked Every Night At Dinner Inspired Two Brothers To Build a $100 Million Company

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Bert and John Jacobs are the two brothers who cofounded the t-shirt company, Life Is Good, that is worth about $100 million today. They were the youngest of six children in a lower middle-class family in Boston. While in grade school, the two brothers witnessed the challenges their parents faced; challenges that proved later in life to be the inspiration for their eventual success.

It was a serious car accident that left their father without the use of his right hand, but their mother was fortunate to only have a few broken bones.

In an interview with Natalie Walters of Business Insider, John Jacobs said, “The stress and frustration from his physical therapy caused him to develop a harsh temper,” and went on to explain, “He did a lot of yelling when we were in grade school.”

In their book, Life Is Good, the brothers write, “There were often difficult things happening around the house.”

However, throughout those trials, their mom, Joan, continued believing “life was good.”

The One Question Mom Asked Every Night That Shaped Their Lives:

As they told Business Insider, every night their mom would ask her six children, “Tell me something GOOD that happened today.

In their book, the brothers write, “As simple as mom’s words were, they changed the energy in the room.” The attribute that daily ritual to keeping them from having a victim mentality of bad things happening every day or the world being out to get you.

Today they claim it was their mother’s unceasing positive mindset that inspired Life Is Good, which has a mission to spread the power of optimism, made evident on their company website with the tagline:

“Life is not perfect. Life is not easy. Life is good.”

They say they still use that question instilled from their mother today in company meetings, asking their employees to “Tell me something good” – with tremendous results. The generate more & better ideas, projects progress faster, and they focus on successes rather than all the challenges.


A quick browse around the Life Is Good website will lead you to these great images…


The inspiration of the company from the boys’ childhood…

Story02_Bunk_Joan_r2-1100x778via Life Is Good


Beginning Their Business Endeavor Wasn’t All Roses:

Story03_Van_r2-1100x368via Life Is Good


…In fact, they almost gave up:

04_JakeSketchvia Life Is Good

Continue on to the Life Is Good website for the rest of the brothers’ story in building a $100 million business, check out their products, and their new book!