The Heroine’s Journey of Cecilia Polonara

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love the freedom, the creativity and the opportunity to make real what I have in my mind and to challenge myself.

What is my idea of happiness? I was in a cafe with a friend and a dog was sitting on the couch, the owner gave it a fingerful of cappuccino foam. That made me laugh and smile. This is my idea of happiness, to be able to look at and enjoy the smaller things that are all around us.

What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is to realizing I’m dying out, being conscious of certain things paralyzes me.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? It’s hard for me to find the right way to tell others what I don’t like or what disappoints me. But I am improving day by day!

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I think that I admire every person that fights for his or her dreams and does things that work out.

What is my greatest extravagance? Not being called Carlotta, because in Italian that name means “she who makes a mess”. My persona would go very well with it, and I would be a perfect disaster.

On what occasion would I lie? I try to lie as little as possible. I can’t do it, my face gives it away. Sometimes is necessary to protect others, so it’s necessary to change the truth a little bit.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Making business decisions.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? It happens when someone appreciates my work and believes in my ideas.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would like to change my head, the inside of it, to see how different my life would be. Just out of curiosity.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I think that my greatest achievement is yet to come, but I am working on it. Hope to be there soon.

Where would I most like to live? I don’t have a specific place. Nowadays reaching any city in Europe is pretty easy, so I think it’s a pity to choose a single place. I could live in one place, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t live elsewhere as well.

What is my most treasured possession? My friends, some of them are always there, ready to help in every situation and be involved in my thinking or new projects.

What is my most marked characteristic? I am distracted and I live most of the time in my own world, so sometimes this characteristic makes me look a bit superficial.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I was born by the sea, so I am really attached to water. I love places that have water in them. I love canals.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I like appetisers and happy hours, so the wine bar of a friend of mine in my native city or Bar Torino, which has great cocktails. Here in the Netherlands I like to change and discover new bars, as long as they serve Bitterballen.

What books influenced my life and how? The book that influenced me most is the one that taught me the word “Polpetta”. It is not a word that you can find in, but rather a made-up mantra. “Polpetta” makes me stop thinking when my mind is drifting. The book is called “Come non farsi le seghe mentali e godersi la vita”.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I will choose a song that I discovered while being happy: With A Little Help From My Friends, The Beatles.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Halliwell Witches, they save the world all the time and they always have all the answers!

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Heroes don’t exist in real life, but fortunately there are a lot of good people, and I am trying to learn from them as much as I can.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? There are too many great films to choose only one…

What role plays art in my life and work? It is one of the main characters in the stage of my life. I use art in my work as a source of inspiration and beauty, but I also like painting. I love all about art.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? These words make me feel good because I am the storyteller of my life, but at the same time they scare me. A lot of responsibility for one single person 😉

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partners in crime? My parents and friends are always ready to help me answer all my questions, which can range from materials, chemistry, medicine and engineering. They believe in what I am doing and they are always involved.

Which people or companies would I like to work within 2020? Erlynne Bakkers, my thesis tutor and the company Cradle to Cradle.

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would I love to meet in 2020? I would love to meet Massimo Bottura.

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? I am looking forward to continuing work on my latest project and developing it further. Besides that, I have the opportunity to invent new things.

Where can you see me or my work in 2020? Milan design week (now 16 of June, instead of 21 of April) Isola design district

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I believe that those words stick with you for all your life. I have the same passions that I used to when I was a child, so why shouldn’t have the same passions when I get old.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Edward Slaviero, Federica Gilda Marrella, Francesca Bortolussi, Isabella Monaco, Claudia Fratantonio, Eleonora Beltrame

How can you contact me? Instagram: cecilia.polonara LinkedIn: Cecilia Polonara

Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey 


Are you a creative leader or creative professional looking to develop your business skills and storytelling?

Amidst today’s uncertainty, it is more important than ever to reconnect with yourself and others, develop your creative business, and build your story. Dive deep into your unique business style and areas for growth with the coaching of Peter de Kuster.


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    You are a creative leader or creative professional  who is interested in developing yourself, your business, and your story.

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    You are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. Coaching can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.

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    You want to learn more about how to resource yourself, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.

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    You are curious and want to engage in online learning.

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    You are motivated to work in-between sessions on yourself (e.g. working on homework assignments that will help you develop new storytelling, skills, and behaviors).


The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is all about your development. To make the most out of your sessions, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with Peter. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration with Peter.

These coaching topics typically resonate with the creative leaders Peter works with:

How can i tell the most powerful story possible about myself and my creative business?

How can I handle self promotion and marketing of my creative business better?

How do can I stay authentic and with focus when having difficult conversations with potential clients?

What are my creative values and how do I align these with my business values?

How can I manage my time and energy better?

How can I radiate confidence to my clients while feeling anxious inside?

How can I steer myself towards creative excellence without becoming rigid?

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.


Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.

individual coaching for leaders


The Heroine’s Journey Coaching online sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is Euro 189 excluding VAT per session. The Heroine’s Journey Coaching is suitable for people at any stage in their career.


Who can sign up for The Heroine’s Journey online coaching?

Creative leaders and creative professionals who wish to improve their business story and develop their business skills and mindset.

Should I choose 1:1 coaching?

Our The Heroine’s Journey experiences in world cities allow you to learn not only from the coach but also from your peers. For the small group coaching (1 – 4 people), we have selected important, relevant topics that we find regularly come up for creative professional: purpose, storytelling, creative confidence, self promotion, time & money and resilience.

If you would prefer to work alone or on a different topic, individual coaching is a better fit for you.

What language do we speak in the coaching sessions?


Can I buy coaching for my organization?

Yes, you can! We support many organizations around the world with their coaching needs. Please contact us for more information.

Can I bring my own topics?

Yes, for individual coaching you get to choose your own topic.

Are coaching sessions confidential?

Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the coaching sessions.

Where will the coaching sessions take place?

Sessions will take place online (as per the times we live in) via an online tool like Zoom or Skype. Peter will let you know.

How do I sign up?

Send Peter a mail to to start booking your coaching sessions.

How do I pay?

After you send the mail, you will receive an email with a link to pay.

How do I book and reschedule sessions?

Once we’ve received your payment, Peter will contact you and book your coaching sessions. He will also support you with rescheduling sessions if needed.

What is your cancellation policy?

Individual coaching sessions can be postponed up to one week before the session.

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