Poetic Guides

Nurturing your entrepreneurial spirit


A clear thinking leader is an agent for change. Knowing which touchstones will guide you on your path of entrepreneurship -- to remind you of who you authentically are and what your brand is -- is one of the best tools you can discover. For me, I've found wise counsel, true friendship and the inspiration to keep going always, in surprising places, like poetry. We'll talk about business, leadership, community and brands, and I'll share a few of my favorite poems that have fueled and guided my experience as Milkshake's founder. Like this one below.

For a Leader
by John O’Donohue

May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not.

May you be hospitable to criticism.

May you never put yourself at the centre of things.

May you act not from arrogance but out of service.

May you work on yourself,
Building up and refining the ways of your mind.

May those who work for you know
You see and respect them.

May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
In order to engage with those who meet you.

When someone fails or disappoints you,
May the graciousness with which you engage
Be their stairway to renewal and refinement.

May you treasure the gifts of the mind
Through reading and creative thinking
So that you continue as a servant of the frontier
Where the new will draw its enrichment from the old,
And you never become functionary.

May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
The healing of wholesome words,
The encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
The decorum of held dignity,
The springtime edge of the bleak question.

May you have a mind that loves frontiers
So that you can evoke the bright fields
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye.

May you have good friends
To mirror your blind spots.

May leadership be for you
A true adventure of growth.

Principal and Founder
Katherine is principal and founder of Milkshake Media, a strategic branding and creative agency based in Austin, TX that specializes in building brands that build community and launch movements. Our clients’ brands have the potential to provide their customers an opportunity to be a part of something larger. While we work with clients across a wide variety of industries, they’re united by a deep commitment to brand, community and experience. Katherine has more than 20 years of experience in designing brands, experiences and storytelling. Katherine founded Milkshake in 1999 and in 2005, she was awarded the Austin Ad Fed’s “Ad Woman of the Year.” That same year, Milkshake received the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year Award. Katherine has received the Austin Business Journal “Profiles in Power: Futurist” Award and, in addition to community service for many organizations, she has served on several boards, including the Austin Children’s Museum, The Seton Cove, GENaustin, and American Youthworks. Trained as a medical illustrator, she entered this world through 3-D computer visualization via her medical imaging work with the Visible Human Project at the National Library of Medicine. For five years, Katherine served as creative director at Engineering Animation, Inc., where she produced animations, illustrations and CD-ROMs for clients such as The Smithsonian, Time Warner, Merck, Glaxo, Hasbro and Mattel. Her direction on top-selling Barbie Magic Hairstyler CD-ROM led to her next position as senior vice president of creative development at Girl Games, Inc., where she designed and produced original and licensed interactive entertainment products for teen girls. Just before starting Milkshake, Katherine worked on several films, including the title sequence for Fight Club, and concept designs for The Cell and Minority Report. Raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Katherine graduated from University of Michigan with a BFA in Fine Arts and a BGS in Zoology and earned an MA from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Biological and Medical Illustration.