Ken Rohl was 50 years old when he decided he’d had enough of corporate life. Political in-fighting and conflicting opinions stifled his creativity and inspiration. He took his experience from his stint in corporate America and used it to start a business that was so successful that a Fortune 500 company bought it. He became a corporateneur.
Now more than 35 years in, Ken shares his lifetime of lessons learned in The Corporateneur Plan: Your Roadmap from Mid-Career Professional to Entrepreneur. It’s for those who feel trapped in their jobs with corporations that don’t recognize their potential or reward their contributions. And it’s for others who want to start out of the block, turned off by stories from their corporate-striving friends and the latest news of massive layoffs sweeping across corporate America.
“After reflecting on the chapters of my corporateneur life, I created The Corporateneur Plan to kindle your imagination and motivate you through stories and learnings that can shortcut your path to success,” Ken shares.
The Corporateneur Plan has become an Amazon Bestseller in the Knowledge Capital, Business Mentoring and Coaching, and Self-Employment categories and it gets honorable mention in Free Enterprise and Capitalism too.
Becoming an Entrepreneurial Leader
To succeed as an entrepreneur and build a sustainable business, Ken needed to use both the art and science of leadership. He’d learned the science on the job – how to build an organization driven by strategy and mission, develop processes for efficiency and effectiveness, and hold fast through discipline. The art of leadership – using flexibility, intuition and most of all, humanity to lead with innovation – also was fine-tuned during his corporate years.
“The entrepreneur needs both the science and art of business. It’s not either/or but both, and both can be learned.” – Ken Rohl
But it wasn’t until he cut the cord and set out on his own that he understood the power of interweaving those two perspectives into a leadership style that would carry his business forward with his company employees, business and industry partners, and ultimately consumers.
“I was finally able to combine my corporate experience and stretch it with my entrepreneurial side to create a balance between an organized, corporate approach and a disruptive one in my own business. The corporateneur path was the one I chose,” he explains.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing. Two times his company nearly came to the brink and the recession of 2008-2009 tested his resolve, but by consistently applying the art and science of entrepreneurial leadership, he and his company came through.
Ken’s Experiences Plus More
The Corporateneur Plan is filled with the wit and wisdom of Ken, plus numerous practical tips and tricks he learned. Co-author Pamela N. Danziger draws on management, marketing and psychological research to ground the book in proven methods and processes for entrepreneurial success.
And in no other business book will you find stories of great entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Howard Schultz, along with those of Julia Child, Bobby Flay, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Tom Brady, Marie Kondo, Anton Chekhov, Ebenezer Scrooge and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
“One of Ken’s early side hustles was running a hot-air balloon company so ballooning became a theme throughout the book. Piloting a hot-air balloon is the perfect metaphor for the challenges a company founder faces and the thrill he or she will experience if they succeed in keeping their venture afloat,” Danziger explains.
Greg Rohl, principal of The Rohl Model, former VP of Marketing of the House of Rohl and one of Ken’s three sons, also played a pivotal role in bringing Ken’s story and The Corporateneur Plan to life as your authoritative guide to entrepreneurial success.
Copies of The Corporateneur Plan: Your Roadmap from Midcareer Professional to Entrepreneur in paper and for Kindle are available on Amazon, B&N, iBooks and in local bookshops via Bookshop.org. And an audiobook version will be available soon.
About Ken Rohl
Ken Rohl, founder of ROHL LLC, sold his decorative plumbing and hardware business to Fortune Brands Innovations, a Fortune 500 and a S&P 500 company. It is recognized as a leading home, safety and commercial product supplier, including brands like Moen, ThermaTrue, Master Lock and House of Rohl.
Ken began his career with US Steel, finding his way to St Charles Cabinetry – then a stainless steel cabinet maker – and eventually to Elkay, best known for producing quality stainless steel sinks. He founded what came to be known as House of Rohl in 1983 with one product – the first pull-out kitchen faucet offered in North America. Now ubiquitous, it was part of establishing an entirely new category of products – decorative plumbing and hardware for the kitchen and bath. In 2008 he was inducted into the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Hall of Fame.
Along the way, Ken brought his business acumen to numerous non-profits and mentored aspiring entrepreneurs in partnership with the University of California, Irvine.