Clayton Rosenberg is a highly successful entrepreneur based out of Washington, D.C. As an active member of his local community, Clayton found joy in helping others from an early age. Seeing himself make a difference in his community pushed him past obstacles and disappointments to become a successful entrepreneur.
This desire to help others followed Clayton to the University of Iowa, where he majored in Political Science and Criminology. When he returned home, he worked in several agencies focused on helping communities in D.C. affected by violence. When an opportunity to further his education arose, Clayton returned to school at Hult International Business School, where he received a Master’s in international business with a specialty in international marketing.
To an outsider, this shift in education may seem unrelated, but to Clayton, it was all to help lead him to a career that moved his local community service to a global scale. Through his education at Hult, he was able to travel to various countries. Through his travels, he learned the importance of logistics and has since been working on establishing businesses that will bring his joy and his career together.
1. Tell us a little about your industry and why you chose to be an entrepreneur?
I have always taken great pleasure in helping my local community and those around me. I have also always had an interest in logistics, especially international import and export. These interests come together in my non-profit company, as we focus on helping organizations work together on a global scale. Many people think they are helping countries in need, but don’t realize all the background work and logistics like trucking and exporting goods to those who need it.
2. What surprised you the most when you started your career, what lessons did you learn?
The amount of risk you have to take as an entrepreneur. Not a lot of people will necessarily believe in what you do or want you to succeed. It takes a lot of hard work and convincing to really get your point across, to show others just how important what you are trying to do is. I maintain the outlook that, no matter what happens, you are learning from the experience. I feel like once I start something, I have to see it through. Each experience will either expand your business or teach you a lesson and help move you to the next great idea.
3. What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting in your industry?
I would say, if you have an idea, strive for that idea. Know and understand that if you really believe in something and are willing to work for it, you can be successful. Do not be afraid to take the risk and do the work to see your dream come true. I am a perfect example of this. I come from humble beginnings, yet I am still working to improve myself, to learn more, so I can reach more people. I want to be remembered as someone who never gave up.
4. How would your colleagues describe you?
I feel that they would describe me as charismatic and motivated. I also think they would say that I am motivating. I really tend to expect the best out of people. I know what they are capable of and I want them to realize just what they can accomplish also. They may see me as a little unorthodox, but as someone who will get the job done and who values everyone’s opinion.
5. How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
That is still a bit of a struggle for me. The pandemic has really scrambled the work life balance for a lot of people. I am doing the best I can at any moment to keep my focus, while also taking care of my family. This is something that I have recognized within myself as needing to improve and I am actively working on it.
6. What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
I would have to say my smartphone since it is such an easy to use piece of technology to use these days. Sometimes things will come to me while I’m running errands, so I’ll save myself a note for later. It’s good for keeping a schedule and for keeping in touch with people when I travel.
7. What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
The hardest obstacle for me was the loss of my little brother. His passing affected my whole family so traumatically, it really took a lot to get back to who I was. I have also had to take a moment to reset after I contracted COVID during the pandemic. I was down for a while with it and I found myself in a state of despair for some time. Again, I had to work to get myself back into the proper mindset and move forward.
8. Who has been a role model to you and why?
My mother has always been my role model. She has always encouraged me to express myself fully, without judgment and with real, unconditional love. The world really does need more of this, especially now. Having such a strong influence in my life has truly helped me realize and reach for my potential.
9. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
One of my mentors told me once that even a leaky faucet can break a cement block over time. What I got from that was that no matter how big an obstacle is or how hard a challenge may be, you can always overcome it. You can accomplish your goals with consistency and faith.