Most of us small business owners can sympathize with government regulations and its effects on our functionality and profit. But most of us Americans have no idea what it means to be flat-out told “no.”

Mazam, a small business owner in Petra, Jordan, knows what “no” means all too well. In Jordan, you have to apply to receive a government certification legally allowing your business to exist. Sadly, the Jordanian government simply doesn’t bother to fairly review most applications. Therefore, most businesses in Petra are simply tables or huts that exist illegally. Many of these so-called “businesses” are children running up and down the streets selling you bracelets or bags – certainly not a legitimate, government-approved business! Mazam was different, though, and felt it necessary to get his certification and have a legal business. He was denied four times but he fought and persevered and eventually received his certification.

All the work you put into your business leads to the pride you have for it. This isn’t something you hear too many people encouraging, but pride can be a very important virtue as a small business owner. Pride is what allows us to work harder. Pride is something that pushes us beyond our comfort level. Pride is what encourages us to make that next sale and make our business a top priority.

Pride is closely related to effort; if you put no effort into what you’re doing, then your pride is probably reflective of that. We have noticed with our own clients at Teahouse that the ones with pride in what they do typically work much harder and glean greater success.

What sacrifices are you making to further your investment in your business? How are you persevering?

Mazam owns the only exotic spice/tea shop in all of Petra. He imports products from various Bedouin Camps and neighboring countries. He is excited to greet customers in his doorway and give them a tour of his varying products. Mazam has pride in his business, as he should.

Pride is also an important concept for us small business owners to impart on our employees. Our employees are an extension of our ownership. They have a huge impact on daily sales and customer experiences. Educating your employees about your business, products, and industry will contribute to that. Ensure they know why they are doing what they are doing. Give them challenging responsibilities and allow them to rise to the occasion. Reward performance and help them to understand their role in the success of the business.

We challenge you today to ask yourself, what are you doing to grow your pride in your business?

Written by Corinne Ables