As many entrepreneurs know, creating a successful business is hard work and Cal State Fullerton alumni Chuck Su ’11’s experience has been no different. While working a second job at night, Chuck works diligently on his own business during the day; a sacrifice he and his loved ones make with grace.
As a student, Chuck exhibited many of the hallmarks of an entrepreneur: creativity, tenacity, and a big heart. It was the last of these attributes that led him to his idea for a business at a time when he was least expecting it: during a reverse triathlon.
“The light bulb idea struck me at the end of my niece’s race. The reverse triathlon did not have a team race; however, I was allowed to participate with my 4-year-old niece in her race bracket. In the end, I realized the fun was running the course as a family. We had a great time and made everlasting memories,” said Chuck.
For Chuck, the happiness that he felt participating with his niece was only the beginning in what would soon become the idea that led to the creation of Family Fun Fitness.
Wanting to replicate the happiness and fun that he experienced with his niece at the reverse triathlon, Chuck began to formulate a business plan that revolved around a new concept of family time and fitness.
After finalizing the main points of his business plan, Chuck met with his mentors at Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Entrepreneurship and sought advice from his previous mentors. In his search for advice the staff not only helped him solidify his business plan, but also provided Chuck with access to valuable resources and connections.
One of these connections was retired engineer and CSUF Entrepreneurship mentor Bill Purpura. Chuck went to him to see if his plan was truly worth investing in as a business.
“Bill Purpura was the man who I thought would give me the best advice. He is an introvert entrepreneur with extensive knowledge in engineering and business development. He doesn’t sugar coat things and has your best interest at heart. When I met with him I was nervous but prepared. After reviewing my idea, he believed that I had a kernel of an idea. This made my developed idea into an actual creation,” said Chuck.
With a solid plan and a seemingly endless amount of passion Chuck began to build his own business with the mission of bringing together family time and exercise. These two activities form the main pillars of Family Fun Fitness.
“I wanted Family Fun Fitness to be designed for adults and kids to overcome [obstacles] together so that they can have fun while participating in healthy fitness based activities,“ said Chuck.
One of the issues that Chuck wants to address with Family Fun Fitness is that kids have become too attached to technology to really grasp the importance of a healthy lifestyle. In order to grab the attention of kids, Chuck and his partners, primarily his girlfriend Suzanne Nguyen, have created a story about a magical kingdom that the kids could experience while they participate in Family Fun Fitness’ obstacle courses.
“We wanted to have children see the characters we created and feel a connection with them regardless of things like ethnicity, body type, or skin color. From this we created our protagonist: Sky the Snowman. His magical cape not only keeps him from melting, but could change junk food into healthy treats. As kids progress through the land of Imaginaria they would get to know the heroes and villains of the story and help Sky get his cape back from the evil queen who stole it,” said Chuck.
The dedication and artistic passion behind the creation of the characters and setting proved instrumental in making the obstacle course a success as the business hosted its first race on August 7th at Cordillera Elementary.
Due to the overwhelming support received from the school that hosted the event and local communities Family Fun Fitness is now sponsored by an investor that plans to have the business host four events per month. This success is the first step in the expansion and growth of Family Fun Fitness.
When looking back at the journey Chuck has gone through in order to make Family Fun Fitness into a reality, he believes that there are several things that all entrepreneurs should remember when starting their businesses for the first time.
“Creating your own business will take a lot of time and money and is something in which you must be prepared to deal with. And while there are going to be bad days, you must learn to take the good with the bad because at the end of the day your passion and dedication will play a huge role in creating your business. Ultimately you should have a strong support system from your significant other, family, friends, and mentors,” said Chuck.
With an investor already backing his business, Chuck and the members of Family Fun Fitness are excited to see what the future has in store for them as they continue to redefine the meaning of spending family time together.
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