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Your Fill-in-the-Blank Motivational Speech

Your Fill-in-the-Blank Motivational Speech
Image credit: Illustration by Brett Affrunti

I stand before you this [MORNING/AFTERNOON/EVENING] to tell you that you are [WINNERS/ALMOST WINNERS/NOT LOSERS] and to [KEEP IT UP/MAYBE TRY A LITTLE HARDER HERE/FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER].

It's been a tough [WEEK/MONTH/YEAR]. We all know it. Right, [STEVE/LINDA/KEVIN]? Right?!

Right.

Let me tell you a little story. I once [HAD A TOUGHER-THAN-USUAL YEAR/ALMOST DECLARED BANKRUPTCY/TECHNICALLY ASSAULTED A CUSTOMER]. Sure, I could've [CLOSED UP SHOP/WEPT UNCONTROLLABLY/TURNED MYSELF IN], but I didn't do that. You know what I did? I ran back toward the [PROBLEM/FRAY/SCENE OF THE POSSIBLE CRIME]. Did I solve the problem with my brain? Well, [NO/A LITTLE/SORT OF]. Mainly, I solved it with my [HEART/SOUL/OFFER OF FREE SMOOTHIES FOR LIFE]. Sometimes you have to [DIG DEEP/SUMMON YOUR INNER CHAMPION/OFFER UP A TON OF FREE SMOOTHIES].

We've risen to the challenge before, and we can do it again. You know why? Because we're [WINNERS/STRIVERS/DREAMERS].

Right?

Right?!

I can't hear you!

Here's how we're going to [MOVE FORWARD/EMERGE HEALTHY/NOT BE CONVICTED OF SOME SORT OF CRIME].

1. We're gonna [FOCUS/HUDDLE UP/CRY LIKE BABIES FOR A FEW MINUTES AS A CATHARTIC EXERCISE].

2. We're gonna [IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM/CONTAIN THE DAMAGE/I DON'T REALLY KNOW … KEVIN, YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS?].

3. We're gonna [IDENTIFY THE SOLUTION/APOLOGIZE TO THE CUSTOMERS/WHERE'S KEVIN?].

4. We're gonna [MOBILIZE/REGROUP AS A STRONGER TEAM/FINE TIME FOR A BATHROOM BREAK, BUDDY].

And 5. We're gonna [WALK OUT OF THIS ROOM AND DO THE JOBS WE WERE BORN TO DO/HUMBLY PROCEED ABOUT OUR BUSINESS/SOMEBODY FILL KEVIN IN ON WHAT HE MISSED].

In closing, [GEORGE WASHINGTON/WINSTON CHURCHILL/AL PACINO] once said during [THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR/WORLD WAR II/ANY GIVEN SUNDAY]["WE HAVE THEREFORE TO RESOLVE TO CONQUER OR DIE"/"LET US THEREFORE BRACE OURSELVES TO OUR DUTIES"/"WE'RE IN HELL RIGHT NOW, GENTLEMEN, BELIEVE ME"].

Now, with that in mind, let's [GET BACK OUT THERE!/HOLD OUR HEADS HIGH!/WATCH THE YOUTUBE OF THE WHOLE PACINO THING. IT'S AWESOME!].

Ross McCammon is an articles editor at Esquire magazine. To learn more about Esquire and to subscribe, go to esquire.com.

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This article was originally published in the October 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Choose Your Own Motivational Speech.

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