“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope…” Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities.

Undoubtedly, the past two-plus years have been a roller coaster for some, with unexpected highs and lows. As entrepreneurs, we’re encouraged to celebrate our highs—even our smallest successes.

With the “spring of hope” in mind, IDH checked in with some local entrepreneurs to learn about their proudest accomplishments in the last year.

Finding Strength

“I’m most proud that during this last year, I learned to step back when needed and to ask for help—I knew I could not do this alone. Asking for help is not a sign of failure, but rather a sign of strength.”

Beth Bolton | Beth Bolton Coaching

Finding Confidence

“Weathering the storm of change. The last few years have had a lot of up and down moments and I can finally say that I feel confident in my role as a business owner.

“I’m proud of the trajectory my company has taken and I look forward to helping more small business owners find continued success.”

Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne | INGroup Creative | University of Hartford Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Business Center Advisor | Eat IN Connecticut

Relationship Building

“This year, I’m most proud of the relationships we’ve been able to build with other community partners. Connecting with others strengthens our understanding in the field and helps to embolden our actions.”

Jennifer Fell | Fostering The Community, Inc

Team Building

“I am most proud of building a team of people united in their desire to do work driven by purpose and a sense of connectivity to each other and the community. It’s caused us to have this magnetic energy that attracts even more passion and talent. It makes us feel like we’re unstoppable, and I’m proud to have helped in bringing this group together.”

Carrianne Polo | New Park Creative

Finding Alignment

“I’m proud I’ve been able to pump the brakes. Early in the pandemic through last fall, I was inundated with client work—for which I’m grateful. Since then, I’ve embraced the mantra ‘sit still and leave the door open.’ And, I’ve focused more on alignment.

“This past year, I’ve also leaned into mentorship, which has been an absolute blessing. It’s humbling to recognize that I have something to offer other aspiring entrepreneurs and young women starting their career exploration.”

Nan Price | MetroHartford Alliance | Innovation Destination Hartford | Uncommon Content

Surpassing Expectations

“I’m most proud that by mid-November of 2021 I had surpassed my old salary from the job I left in 2019. I knew of course that my business had been busier that year than in 2020, but to run that report and see that number in writing was very gratifying.”

Robin Zaleski | Hello Consulting LLC