As my career has progressed as an entrepreneur, I’ve observed more and more how power differences impact a business. Your pricing, growth, and ability to successfully negotiate all are underwritten by the power dynamics of your situation.

As a simple example, my dad is a retired farmer. Early on in his career he had to sell everything he grew to cover the cost of the enormous farm loans he took on each year. That meant that whatever market middleman he sold to dictated the price of the resources he harvested. However good their relationship was or how good of a negotiator my dad was made little difference to the price he would get for. If that middleman could get the same resources for a lower price from many other farmers-they would.

At some point though, my dad was able to stockpile resources. He didn’t have to sell everything at the end of the year to turn a profit and he would cover a stack of hay rather than sell it or warehouse surplus barrels of mint oil. Then, when a drought hit Australia, or some other catastrophe occurred, the power dynamics would reverse. He made his money then by being one of the few people that had control of resources that the market needed.

In your business, it’s important to create mechanisms that create power imbalances that favor you. The easier it is to say “no” to customers, market pricing, employees, or suppliers, the more competitive your business is.

A general strategy to do this is to create options for the business while removing them from others.

This doesn’t make you Ebeneezer Scrooge (Christmas shout-out!) You don’t have to raise your prices 10,000% like “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, but it’s healthier for your business if you could.