Clayton Rosenberg is a Washington, D.C. native with a lifelong focus on community service and helping others. Throughout his life, he has made it his goal to create a legacy of leadership through example. After receiving his Bachelors in Political Science and Criminology from the University of Iowa, he returned to D.C. where he worked with several government agencies with a focus on helping communities in need. At one time, he was a lead for a hospital trauma response team with The Alliance of Concerned Men. This team would go to scenes of traumatic incidents to provide support and resources to those involved.
Clayton returned to school at Hult International Business School in Cambridge, MA to earn his Master’s in International Business. This allowed him to travel the world and learn more about what happens in the background of the international helping community. This experience further fueled his desire for more education, leading him to his current educational goal of earning his Executive MBA.
The future for Clayton is in the world of logistics on a global scale as he works to bring those who can help and those who need help together.
Where did the idea for Alliance of Concerned Men come from?
My want to be an entrepreneur stems from my desire to give back to the community. Each business that I have started had some basis in community service. Once I had the realization that I could help others on a large scale, I really felt that entrepreneurial spirit, and a drive to accomplish more.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts with a workout and meditation. Throughout the day, I am reaching out and making connections. I meet with friends and colleagues to discuss where the current needs are and what investment opportunities there may be. It involves a lot of phone calls and a lot of running around. At the end of the day, I get a little me time and play some video games. It is good to have that sense of normalcy at the end of the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I will usually speak with other individuals that have the same ideals or same goals that I have. I like to really hear others’ ideas on how to make something work and put it into practice if we feel it will help move us forward.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The helping mindset is a trend that excites me. There has been so much push for change in the last year and a half. A lot of people have moved to a mindset of growth and understanding of others. It is such a joy to see, and I am excited to see how we move forward together in trying to be helpful to others. There is always someone worse off than you, just as there is always someone doing better. It is what we can learn from each other that will help us grow. We are all in this together, and as more people realize that, the better we are going to be able to help each other.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think my best habit is my humanity. I work hard, but I have learned to temper that drive and allow myself time to reset and focus on myself and my family. It is not always easy to relax, but I have come to understand the importance of taking a day off to play games or hang out with my family. It also allows me time to seriously consider my next move. In the past, I would rush into things and throw my all into it. Now, I take the time to make sure whatever I start, it is something I can be present for.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to not always go with your first instinct. I would remind myself to take the time to really plan out, step by step, how I want to proceed with something so that I do not feel rushed or overwhelmed. It is so easy to jump in head first when you feel like you cannot be wrong. Risk is necessary, but contemplation and planning is essential. My younger self may have made different choices had I allowed myself the time to really look at the big picture.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason can change, but it still occurs exactly how it is supposed to based on the decisions you make.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make sure that you give yourself the “me time” you deserve. This is something I had to learn through experience, but it is something I consistently do now. Another thing I do is make sure I am surrounded by an excellent team of people who are goal oriented and encourage idea sharing. Having the right team makes all the difference, especially as an entrepreneur.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Good communication is the key to everything. Too many people assume things, without truly communicating with each other. Be open and direct with your team and everything else becomes easier. It is better to address an issue head on than to think you know what is going on and it becomes an unnecessary obstacle, just because that true understanding was not there.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say declining various investment opportunities. Looking back, at the time I may not have felt it was a good idea and I should have done things differently. One thing I have learned through the pandemic is the ability to pivot when necessary. Do not get stuck into an idea or a way of doing things without really taking the time to make sure you understand what it is.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Anything in the tech industry would be a good business. It is a field where age does not matter. You can find your niche and really grow. There is always something that could use an upgrade or needs to be more efficient. Figure out what that is and work for it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought dinner for some people that I saw on the street. You never know what people are going through, but it was something small I could do for someone else. Giving without expectation is one of the best feelings you can have. Making a difference for someone is something that cannot be compared to anything else.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The Google Suite has been an excellent asset for me. Having everything streamlined and connected over any device I am using has been very helpful to me getting and keeping things organized. It is definitely something I use every day and has made my life easier.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I really enjoyed reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It questions how we may react if the people who run the world are no longer here. It is interesting to me because I felt like I had so many people expecting so much from me as a young man, that it became overwhelming at times. Learning how to come together is how we can fix the world and this book really had me considering how to overcome obstacles.
What is your favorite quote?
I Have a Dream is my favorite quote. Growing up, in my community, it can be hard to even have a dream. This keeps me going when I feel like giving up.
- Never give up
- Learn from others
- Build a good team
- Be open and communicative
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.