OREM — On Aug. 18, the Discovery Channel will premiere a show that features two men from Utah as they navigate the challenging world of entrepreneurship. The show is called "I Quit," and is focused on highlighting entrepreneurs from around the country who said, "I quit" to their day jobs in favor of pursuing their dreams of starting their own businesses.
Marcus Sorensen, of Kaysville, and Chris Studdert, of Mapleton, founded Blue Coolers, a company based out of Orem. Both men said starting this company fulfilled their love of spending time with their families in the outdoors, as well as their desire to own and operate their own business.
"Chris and I have been involved in other businesses together," Sorensen said. "Chris has a background in sourcing and working with suppliers, and I work in more of the business marketing and sales development side. We have both worked in the outdoor products area and have a love of the outdoors. We wanted to start our own company that combined our skill sets and passion for the outdoors."
The duo decided on creating a super cooler because they felt that similar coolers on the market were too expensive and they wanted to have a good quality product for families on a budget.
"We have 10 kids between us, and we know that camping and outdoor recreation can get expensive," Studdert said. "After looking at what was already on the market, we felt like we could create a heavy duty cooler that would allow people to get out and do it affordably."
The idea to start the business, however, came back in 2017 when both men were working full time at high levels in their respective jobs. With families to support, quitting their jobs to start a new business wasn’t in the cards. So, they called it their "side hustle," always keeping an inkling of hope that it would turn into something bigger.
And it did.
The business experienced steady growth through 2018 and into 2019, then a decision had to be made. In the midst of that decision, the opportunity came along to be featured on a new television series documenting the very thing that the two were faced.
"I was having a hard time juggling it all; and in my mind I knew I was going to quit my day job, but I had to build up confidence to do this," Sorensen said. "In early 2019 we found out about this show, and we started filming in February. We were making those decisions of quitting our jobs in real time while the cameras were filming."
The filming took place over a year’s period of time and followed Sorensen and Studdert, as well as their families, as they navigated the world of transitioning from day job to quitting, and through the trials and successes of owning and operating a new business. The series, which spans over eight episodes, also follows five other sets of entrepreneurs from around the country who have also said "I quit" to their respective employers. At the end of the year, the most promising business will receive $100,000 to fuel their growth.
And while Sorensen and Studdert hope that the series will bring attention to their business, they also hope that the show itself will inspire others.
"The show has been a great way to get the Blue Cooler name out to a national audience," Studdert said. "I hope we give people a genuine look at what entrepreneurship is really about. It’s nitty gritty, it's dirty, it’s low, it's high. You have to work really hard. You have to swing hard and go big. Small businesses really are important to our country, and I hope that when people watch this show they will see that, and support small businesses."
Sorensen agreed, adding that he hopes the show gives an accurate picture of what it’s like to start your own business.
"I’m going to tell you, it kind of bugs me to hear people say to just chase your dreams," Sorensen said. "It doesn't always work for everyone. Yes, it’s great to chase your dream, but you have a plan and don’t just hope it goes that way. We didn’t wake up one morning to quit our jobs.
"The tagline for our business is ‘Ready, set, journey.’ Our experience starting up this company fits us. This is a journey and not a destination. We control our destiny. We are to blame. We get to include our families in the process. We get to employ our children. The journey, the challenges, the struggle. I hope all of that comes across in the show."
"I Quit" premieres Aug. 18 at 10 p.m. on Discovery Channel, after which the show will air every Tuesday at 9 p.m. Viewers can also stream the show by downloading the Discovery GO app and join in the conversation online using the hashtag "#IQuit."