Jenny woke tired. Her business was growing and the hours she was putting in demanded more and more of her time. She raised her head from the pillow, stumbled out of her now empty bed, and went to the kitchen. Still half asleep she put the kettle on for her morning cuppa and slowly walked to the bathroom. There on the floor were yesterdays clothes. Shed barely had the energy to slip from her work gear and climb into the bath to sip her chardonnay before bed, let alone pack her clothes away tidily.

She sighed at the sight of the untidy bathroom, but with her head swimming already, she just resigned herself to clean it all up on Saturday when she could sleep in. After her tea, Jenny dressed, put on her gym shoes, leashed the dog and stepped out into the day for her morning walk. She loved the fresh air.

Two hours later she was behind the desk, facing the usual barrage of emails, meetings, conference calls and fires to be put out. Jenny was successful. Profitable, creative and in love with her job. But something was wrong. Jenny was single and didnt want it that way.

Hard work is bad management. When our identity becomes so linked to our work, we work harder thinking that we are being a better person. We link the time spent, the challenges faced, the hurdles overcome to the goodness of who we are. And here begins a problem. Hard work is bad management. Actually, the smarter we are, the less hard we work.

Having our identity tied up with hardship is very normal in our western culture. The privilege seems to be that those who are highly admired, have overcome obstacles, whereas those who have been blessed with seemly comfortable existences are termed lucky or blessed. They are not given such high accolade as the battler who overcomes adversity.

But adversity in itself is often the consequence of bad management. Few people acknowledge that failed relationships, business hardships or failed health are actually caused by bad management. Bad management of anything is most often the cause of the adversity we are so often given the accolade for overcoming. We usually cause our own hardship.

Trekking in Nepal I share allot of time with a Tibetan Doctor and often do the rounds with him to local villages. He provides his services free and we sponsor him by paying for some the medicines for those who cant afford it. His patients often complain about sore this and sore that and hope he has bought with him a miracle. But his medicine is based on fixing the cause. The patient thinks there is a solution to a problem without dealing with the cause. And they are very disappointed when they are directed to the cause, like acidic eating alcohol, too much rice or something they think is a normal behavior.

It is the same here in Jennys life. The cause of her ever increasing tiredness, her increasing demands at work and her singledom is bad management. Not a growing business.

Growth of anything should stimulate growth in technique. Small business requires management of certain quality. Large business requires management of a higher quality. What keeps small business small, is bad management. If you apply small business management to a large business it becomes small again.

In relationship, it is the same. New, small and simple relationships are like small business. It is obvious what is necessary to make the relationship work. Lots of cuddles, kisses and sleepy time. But this is not the key to managing larger relationships (ones that last a long time).

Relationships that are small thrive on emotion, ambition, sexuality and happiness. Big relationships thrive on those things and much, much more. Do you know what those other things are? It is like asking a small business owner about the keys to making a larger business successful. Often they will say more of the same in other words do what you do in small business more but this is completely a disaster. Then, the only way to grow a business is to work harder, do more of what you did yesterday. And this is the opposite to the truth.

To make a small business bigger, you have to work less. To make a small relationship bigger you have to do less. The bigger something becomes the more efficient the time you spend in or working on it must be spent.

So here are a few clues to the difference between big business management and small business management. See if you can translate them to your relationship.

1/ Big business demands a bigger perspective of the businesss role in the market place.

2/ Big business needs more regular and automated monitoring

3/ Big business means less distractions, less emotion, more focus.

4/ Big business means visionary leadership

5/ Big business means more done in less time. (otherwise costs go up as production goes up)

6/ Big business means the delegation and sub contracting of repetitive tasks to experts.

7/ Big business means higher qualified people.

8/ Big business means more investment in systems to automate repetitive tasks

9/ Big business means more analysis before expenditure.

10/ Big business needs more level headed longer term planning.

About the author:

Chris Walker BE MBA is a consultant, change agent, speaker and author of more than 20 books. Born and bred in Australia, he consults to people and organisations throughout the world on improved relationships, health and lifestyle through the application of the Universal laws of Nature. The result he offers is that we stay balanced, share loving relationships, work with passion, enjoy success, and live our personal truth. To learn more about Chriss work and journeys to Nepal, visit