When you think of the crossover between Black History Month and fitness, your brain might automatically wander toward athletes and sports. But for many Black trainers—who are also small business owners—Black History Month is a time to consider role models in entrepreneurship. Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, and Althea Gibson blazed trails as Black athletes, but TRX Coaches like Michael Piercy say that they’re equally impressed by Black moguls.
Piercy is the founder and owner of The Lab, an athletic-based performance training facility in Fairfield, N.J., offering elite performance and premium fitness services geared toward athletes and active adults. When he’s not working in The Lab, Piercy also provides fitness and performance education worldwide, works as a TRX Master Course Instructor, and serves as a member of the Under Armour Training Team.
“If I think of Black History and the operating in this space as a Black entrepreneur, I have always tried to draw on experiences from both inside and outside of the fitness industry. With that in mind, there have been so many powerful individuals that have paved the way that I can say have had an influence on my journey and path,” Piercy said. When I think of the Black entrepreneurs and trailblazers I studied at a young age that fueled my path towards entrepreneurship, they would definitely be influential like Earl Graves, Robert Johnson and Oprah.”
For Piercy, the common thread among inspiring Black entrepreneurs is that they channel their passion and innovation to create business vehicles that make a lasting impact on the world, while mentoring and inspiring the next generation of business leaders and disruptors.
“In the next few years, my dream is to have The Labbe the place where athletes and everyday athletes of all colors, shapes, and sizes come to develop, create and explore the best versions of themselves, while also being a place that provides amazing opportunities for those from all walks of life that have a vested interest in making our industry better in the years to come,” Piercy said. “It is a dream that the business be a powerful vehicle to provide opportunity generationally.”
As he considers his own role in the Black business community, Piercy says his advice to fellow Black entrepreneurs is to stay true to their vision and find other people who share that vision to help in the business journey.
“Above all, never take lightly the responsibility that is endowed upon every Black entrepreneur to build and create organizations that will carry on and provide opportunities generationally for those to follow. Work hard and be diligent. Your energy, light and passion is needed to create a better world for all of us and those that will follow.”