Invariance in negotiations

Alexander Lyadov
2 min readApr 18, 2024
Eckart Hahn

Your stance in negotiations must remain invariant. This means their outcome shouldn’t bother you.

They agree to your terms? Great, let’s get to work. Declining on principle? No problem.

You might ask, “Wait! Aren’t I interested in closing this very important deal?” Yes, but not at any cost. The word “very” signifies an excess of desire. It makes you vulnerable. You can be easily squeezed.

Your counterpart doesn’t even have to try. You’ll squeeze yourself. Give a super discount. Offer post-payment. Don’t mention the troubling aspect in the contract. It’ll blow up in a year.

The question is how to achieve invariance, right? You could, of course, read stoics, meditate, play poker, or study NLP.

But, the most reliable way is to have an alternative. Even better — not one.

What’s important is this: the lack of alternatives turns a free person into a slave. By the way, this applies to alcohol, games, and drugs too. “Addiction is a progressive narrowing of the things that bring you pleasure,” said neurobiologist Andrew Huberman.

If a slave wants to find freedom, what should he do? Right, consciously expand the circle of such things.

In business, you’re working on several promising deals at once. Until you sign and get paid. Things can go wrong at the last minute.

Yeah, it’s labor. But freedom isn’t free. You gotta work for it.

Sincerely yours,


I write about creativity, freedom, and meaning.

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Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help tech founders increase the value of their business by unlocking the potential of their personality.