In some workplaces, apathy is a huge problem. Workers are often put off by inadequate pay, poor management, bad working conditions and other negative aspects of their jobs. This leads them to take less pride in their work, doing only what they must to keep their jobs. If the situation goes on long enough, they may look for something better.

Small business owners aren’t immune to apathy, either. It’s rather surprising, since they get to choose their career paths and make their own decisions about how to run their businesses. But if business takes a turn for the worse, situations outside of work cause undue stress, or external factors make running the business more of a challenge, apathy can set in. And if left to run amok, it can be the kiss of death for an otherwise healthy venture.

The good news is that apathy is curable. If you want to make things work, there are things you can do to improve your attitude and get back on the right track.

1. Take a Look at Your Goals

Goals are essential to our success, both in life and in business. You’ve probably set goals for yourself, but are those goals providing the motivation that they should? If not, it’s time to re-examine them.

We need both long-term and short-term goals. If we only have long-term goals, they may seem impossible to achieve because we don’t have any short-term goals to keep us going in the right direction. And if we have only short-term goals, they might motivate us until we achieve them, but then we’re left with nothing but the task of setting more short-term goals.

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Every goal you set should inspire you, and all of your short-term goals need to somehow tie in with a long-term goal. This way you’ll always be working toward something that is worthwhile to you, and it will be easy to see the progress you’ve made so far.

2. Accept What You Can’t Change, and Focus on What You Can

There are many variables that affect your business that are beyond your control. The economy is a good example. When money is tight for consumers in general, you may get less business, and that can be very discouraging. You can’t create enough jobs to keep everyone gainfully employed or go out on the street handing out hundred dollar bills, so what’s the point?

That kind of thinking is apathy at work, and it will get you nowhere. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t control, get creative and find a way to prosper in spite of adversity. In this case, you could break down large services into smaller ones that customers can purchase individually, offer discounts to make your products more affordable during hard times, or work on a joint venture with another struggling business that will help both of you find new customers.

Apathy can be a big hindrance to your success if you let it. Although it can be difficult at times, keeping a positive attitude is a must. Keeping apathy at bay won’t guarantee that you will never face obstacles, but it will make it much easier to overcome them.