Are you a workaholic with your nose constantly to the grindstone? Have you gotten tired of the rat race after years of wearing several different hats? Well… that sucks and unfortunately I can’t help you make big life changing decisions (I’m not Dr. Phil!) but these phrases might help you when chatting about your worklife if the opportunity ever arrises.

So what’s a workaholic?

Well, “-aholic” just means “addicted”. So, like his old buddy “alcoholic” (someone addicted to alcohol), a workaholic is addicted to work. Instead of working a nice 9-to-5 job (8 hours) a workaholic works countless hours of overtime, probably works at home when he’s not in the office or accepts shifts when he should probably sleep, eat or any other healthy action. Are you a workaholic?

Put/have your nose to the grindstone… what?

Ok, it simply means work (hard). I’m assuming, as I don’t have much time to look everything up on Google, that it refers to workers who actually used grindstones to sharpen iron tools. To make this easier to understand what a grindstone is just have a look on Google. It’s a big round stone wheel with a wooden frame.


Why rat race?

Because we all want to be the “big cheese” (big boss)! Ok, so I’m not sure the two terms “rat race” and “big cheese” have any connection, however, it kinda makes sense. The “rat race” is the competitive and chaotic business world. It’s quite a fitting image if you think about it. I mean, just have a look at an american call center…tens of cubicles built into a sort of labirynth. So what’s the prize? I’m guessing a nice pension plan…what do you think?

Heteronyms are simply words with the same spelling but which change meaning depending on how you pronounce them (for example: to read a book you’ve already read). Sometimes you have to stress a different syllable and other times the vowel sound changes. Here are some examples to remember (notice the “ or stressed syllable):

My mother gave me a lovely “present for my birthday. (noun)

You should live in the “present not the past. (noun)

The teacher asked me to pre”sent myself to the class. (verb)


Fruits and vegetables are in the “produce section of the supermarket. (adjective)

Cows pro”duce 28 litres of milk a day. (verb)

I wanted to see the live show. (adjective)

I live in Reggio Emilia in Italy. (verb)


Do you know any heteronyms? How about these ones? Polish, lead, dove, object, subject, desert, close, bow and tear.

Having difficulty or unsure if you’re reading them correctly? Call me! That’s what I’m here for!

So it is the eve of my website’s launch onto the world wide web and strangely it feels very different from the other “big” new business moments. I can’t say it feels more important than, let’s say, opening my business license or celebrating my grand opening. The first being likely the most terrifying and liberating thing I’ve done professionally and the later made me so nervous I could barely speak. Nonetheless I must admit it sure feels immensely important, very exciting and a little scary. I’ve got butterflies. I mean we’re not launching the first big social network here, it is after all just a common website, but I still bet this is how those guys felt just before clicking the button and launching Facebook.

If you’re reading this than you will have seen the website and I hope and trust that you will have found it every bit as professional and strikingly well done as I have. A great deal of the credit goes to my website designer Stefano, who really did an excellent job putting all of the pieces together and making a work of art out of the countless never ending emails I set him. I’d also like to thank my loved ones and dear friends, as well as my faithful students, for their support in everything from “simply” putting up with my craziness to helping me find the words to fill these pages and most importantly for inspiring me and giving me the courage to take this first step towards achieving my little pipe dream. Without the love, support, guidance and motivation I received from everyone I wouldn’t be here today. I didn’t have one person tell me I couldn’t do it or that I shouldn’t because it would have been too hard or too dangerous. Everyone offered a helping hand and I owe it all to you. For me this is big. And it matters so much.

So why am I writing such a personal letter on my very “businessy” website? The answer is simple: it’s who I am. This studio and website and all of it are just extensions of and tools for demonstrating my passion and how serious I am about what I do. I made the change to better my life and the life of my little girl, to be happy and be able to sleep at night knowing that what I was doing was useful and honest. I don’t believe it’s unprofessional to be excited about having a little success. You don’t have to win a Grammy to give a speech, shed a tear and say “yeah, we did it!”


Note: This post was meant to be posted when the website went online… but for technical reasons that just didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I felt it should be posted. So here it is. Better late than never!