In the state of Alabama, the Saturday after Thanksgiving isn’t just Small Business Saturday.

It’s the day when the Iron Bowl is played, the annual in-state football rivalry between the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Dating back over a century, the game is always a major event in the state. But last Saturday’s (Nov. 25, 2017) game was especially important as the undefeated University of Alabama was ranked #1 in the nation and Auburn was ranked #6. The winning team would play in next week’s Southeastern Conference Championship.

In an Auburn tradition, an honorary team captain was invited to deliver an inspirational pre-game speech in the locker room before the team headed out for the game. This year’s honorary captain was a graduate of the university, Apple CEO Tim Cook.

As we read his words, we couldn’t help but think of all the small business owners who would find a deep connection to the thoughts he shared with the underdog team.

Here is what Tim Cook told the team…and the rest of us.



This is one of life’s rare times that you can create a memory that will last a lifetime.

For you.
For everyone who’s worn that jersey before.
For everyone in the Auburn family.
And for every underdog out there who’s ever come against the establishment.

You’ve earned it.
You deserve it.
You worked hard.
You prepared.
You fell down but you got up.

Our biggest obstacle today is not the (other) team.
It’s that little voice in your head that tells you
you’re doing 100 percent when you’re actually at 85 to 90.

We all have that.
Extinguish it!
Expel it!
Expire it!
Tell it you are not giving up your shot.

You have worked too hard and come too far to only come this far.

Before you leave the locker room today, close your eyes.
Take one moment.
Think about the best version of yourself.
That is who you really are.
That person has everything you need to win today.

Fall down seven times.
Get up eight.

Rise like the wave and never let them forget today.
They have had their time!
Their time is over!

It’s our time.


Do we need to tell you the outcome of the game? The underdog Auburn won. Lesson: It’s your time.


Photo: (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr