"When [The Bachelor] ended [in March], I had lost all stability and structure. I was like, 'What am I doing? I left my job. I guess I'm going to be an influencer now,'" Clayton recalled, referencing his previous job as a medical sales representative, during the December 14 episode of the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast co-hosted by Becca Kufrin and Michelle Young.
"I was trying to make the influencer stuff work, but it wasn't working like I thought. Influencing is hard! I hate that people say it's 'so easy' -- it is not easy! It is a full-time job and I'm not good at it, really."
Clayton said while he was trying to do his "thing" on social media, he believes social media influencers don't receive enough credit.
"It is an art in itself. You have to have creativity, you have to follow the trends, and Susie would do that! Susie would be on social media, looking at what's popular. She loves social media... and she is an incredible influencer," Clayton said.
"And she's an incredible person, but I'm not that. And so I was overwhelmed and I was like, 'What am I going to do next?!' And I was like, 'I'm going back to corporate America. I'm going back. I'm going back to medical sales, what's safe.'"
And Clayton revealed that Susie had "stopped" him.
"She was like, 'Clayton, I see how happy you are on the days when you make an impact on people. I don't think you should give this up yet. I just think that you have more in you. I think you're not done. You've tried, but have you exhausted all options?'" Clayton shared.
"And I was like, 'No,' so she was like, 'Okay, then keep working. Put your head down and try it again. Give it another chance.'"
Clayton took Susie's advice and tried again, "in multiple areas," and then he said all of a sudden, things "started to turn" in his favor.
"I was like, 'Wait, I actually can make a living off of what I'm doing, and it's not medical sales now, it's my passions -- true passions," Clayton explained.
"That only happened because of her. Otherwise, I would be back working my sales job right now."
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Clayton said medical sales simply isn't his passion, adding, "I didn't wake up on a Monday, like, 'I can't wait to go to work!'"
Clayton said there's "nothing wrong" with medical sales and it was a good job, but he just felt "there's more" out there he "should be doing."
Clayton told Becca and Michelle that he had an epiphany of sorts a couple of weeks ago while taking a joy ride through Scottsdale, AZ -- where he is currently living with his brother but plans to buy a house in early 2023 -- when he just felt the need to reach out to Susie.
Clayton therefore wrote a sweet message to Susie, thanking her and also apologizing for his actions in their relationship, which apparently brought Susie to tears.
"I was driving in my car and I was just overcome with happiness. I was just genuinely just happy. I was like, 'My life is good; I'm doing what I want, I'm making an impact, and good things are happening," Clayton explained.
"I learned so much and I have zero regrets. I love everything that's happened in my life, because I am the person that I am because of the good and the bad. And I found good through all the bad."
Clayton said while driving on this sunny day, he was "jamming out to some music" with "the windows down" in Scottsdale.
"And I was just so grateful and thankful. The first person that went to my mind was Susie. She is the reason why [I] am here in this position."
Susie recently created a blog titled "Susie Was Like," and in a blog post earlier this month, Susie revealed that she and Clayton had split, in part, due to the fact they're not compatible.
"I see comments still, like, 'Well, what happened?' And I'm like, 'Well, nothing happened! He didn't do anything; I didn't do anything. We just weren't really compatible,'" Susie reasoned.
"I think it was ultimately, like, expectations of what do you want in a partner? What do you want from yourself? And all of those kinds of things. And we just weren't really aligned on those things."
The Bachelor fans began to suspect there was trouble in paradise between Clayton and Susie in August, when Clayton revealed on an episode of Amanda Hirsch's "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast that the couple had decided to stop living together and planned to move to different states.
Clayton chose Scottsdale as his new home, and Susie considered relocating to Los Angeles.
Although Susie never officially made the move, she will be settling down in L.A. in January 2023.
"It's really hard because when we first broke up... my first initial feeling was, like, I felt abandoned -- that was my first feeling," Clayton admitted in a joint appearance with Susie on the "Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe" podcast in early October.
"I was like, 'We're just going to end this.' I was upset. I didn't even want to look in her direction because I was like: If I look at you, the hurt is gonna tear me apart."
Clayton and Susie explained how they broke up because neither person felt stable or fully emotionally supported in the relationship due to their insecurities and outside pressure from Bachelor Nation to be a perfect couple.
Clayton shared how it felt nearly impossible to pour into his relationship with Susie when he didn't even know what he wanted out of life and where his future was headed.
The couple also confirmed how dealing with backlash from Bachelor Nation -- including death threats sent to Clayton -- was a big factor in why they had issues and ultimately parted ways.
"I was trying to figure out what my next step was [and] I started questioning who I was because of all the negativity," Clayton said.
He added, "I started to believe some of what was being said about me. And I now look back at it and realize, like, I couldn't be that stable, secure man that I needed to be to really be able to give my all in a relationship."
Clayton said he felt the need to rehab his image and please others, all the while trying to get over death threats and handle problems in his relationship, such as wrongly being accused of cheating on Susie.
When Susie and Clayton announced their breakup in a September 23 statement, they wrote, "We stand in support of each other and hope to see the other go on to find happiness and healing. Although Claysie is no more, we hope that our communities can support us individually as we move forward with love and respect for each other."
And out of respect for each other, Susie and Clayton chose to keep some of their problems to themselves.
"There are things private to us that we will probably never talk about... and I think that's healthy and protects our mental health and what we have struggled with... We want to respect each other's boundaries," Susie said on "Off the Vine."
The couple became friends again recently, with Clayton asking Susie to read and edit a draft of his new book.
Clayton teased last month there's a possibility he and Susie may get back together down the road, but Susie said earlier this month she's ready to date again and already has a crush on someone new.