Bay Club Fitness
One City Center, Portland
In 1994, Tracy Moore left the fitness industry – but she was always looking for an opportunity to go back.
So one day, in the spring of 2000, on a whim, she applied for a part-time job at Bay Club in downtown Portland, working the front desk. By January of the following year, she was general manager; five years later, she became co-owner, and in 2008, sole owner.
Hers is a story of sheer determination.
Q: What were your most important needs in getting started?
A: I think an important requirement in owning your own business is to have passion for the industry. Certainly there are many facets and many hats to wear, but when challenges start to appear, it’s amazing how much easier it is to keep going when it’s a labor of love. The most important need of my business is in hiring professional, positive staff. I’m thrilled to say that many of my staff have been with me five-plus years.
Q: What factors from your upbringing gave you the courage to venture out on your own?
A: I heard or witnessed repeating patterns in my youth that taught me 1. To treat life as a precious gift that could potentially bring much joy, happiness, peace and fulfillment – and that my odds were as good as the next; 2. To appreciate that a positive, can-do attitude was infectious in both personal and business aspects of life; and 3. To realize that I would have choices to make in my life that would absolutely impact my future either positively or negatively – but they would be my choices to make.
Q: What are the advantages of being a female entrepreneur?
A: I truly believe there are specific advantages to most demographics. I think in general women are better at people management, and that is a huge piece of a successful business. I was (recently) asked by a new member what the most challenging aspect of my business is, and I told him it is the unknown variables that are out of my control, such as the economy, increased vacancies in commercial buildings and, of course, the weather.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring woman entrepreneur?
A: Take the time to work in some capacity in a similar job, be open to resources available, and seek out others in like-minded positions. ?I certainly have taken the time over the years to share experiences with others and will continue to do so. I truly love the power of a woman on a mission.
Q: If you knew then what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
A: Looking back at my past 12 years at the club, I can honestly say that my only regret is that I left the industry in 1994 and that I didn’t pursue a degree program in a technical field such as exercise science, instead of relying on operations and management as my strengths.