Does Playing Defence Weaken Your Business?

“Fear Kills Growth.” Gary Vaynerchuk

So I was listening to a podcast from business leader Gary Vee this morning and he made a comment that really caught my attention. It wasn’t even the point of his talk. Honestly, it was just said in passing. It was a real gem, though, and I think it’s one of the big principles for winning in business and in life.

He said, “We don’t stay on defence. We stay on offence.”

Insert mic drop here. Nine little words but what a huge lesson for dominating in business and here’s why…

In any sport, what’s the purpose of defence? Well, the purpose is to hold back, protect and minimize damage. So what does this look like? Well, it’s like the boxer that keeps his guard tight and never throws a punch. He knows that the moment he tries to throw a punch he leaves an opening so he holds back and defends.

Now, how many fights will this guy win? Well it doesn’t take a genius to know that this boxer’s days are numbered. I mean, he’ll reduce the damage taken but at the same time, he’s not causing any damage to his opponent. As he spends all his energy to avoid the loss he’s not making any progress towards the win. Not that defence should be ignored… It just can’t be the whole game.

And that’s the lesson, right there. You have to leave yourself open and take the risk in order to punch. You have to start punching in order to win.

So that’s boxing… What does it all look like in business? Well, defence holds back on marketing because “What if people think I’m pushy?”. Defence doesn’t make the post because “What if people take it the wrong way?”. Defence doesn’t launch because “It’s not perfect yet and somebody will point out a flaw.” Defence doesn’t strike out because “What if they figure out that I’m a fake…”. Defence keeps its distance, doesn’t put itself out there and doesn’t risk being bold.

Meanwhile, what’s offence doing? Offence is swinging for the fences. Offence is charging forward in order to get attention, move the needle and get the win. Will you get punched in the face while on offence? Sure you will. It might be from the other boxer in the ring or it might be “SallyPants44” on Facebook saying that your ideas suck but if it’s a fight worth winning you can learn the lesson, shake it off and keep moving forward.

I’ll say it again… if your business is a fight worth winning, learn the lesson, shake it off and keep moving forward.

Your business, your purpose, your passion is worth being bold. Strike out. Do something. Play offence and start playing to win.


  • Tara

    Reply Reply January 30, 2019

    Well said. Your post really hit close to home for me. Fear does hold a lot of us back, but if we never step out and move forward we will never get the “wins”.

    • danielhanscom

      Reply Reply January 30, 2019

      Thanks for the comment and glad to hear the message was useful. You’re right about how most of us tend to hold back. It’s amazing how much of the game is in own head, isn’t it?

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