The Power of Two

LeRoy Watkins and his business partner Zachary Lerman Viking Sports

When I was 25 I started my first company. I had the green light to implement any idea that popped into my creative mind. There was no boss telling me “NO”. Only myself, the ultimate yes man saying, “LeRoy, that idea is gold. Do it!”.  

As liberating and amazing as that sounds, I had no one to scrutinize my ideas, which was actually a big problem. 

In 2011 Zach and I bought Viking Sports as 50/50 owners. We needed each other’s blessing before making a big decision. So in 2011 I made a big decision. Viking was going to buy a parcel of land to build a sports facility. It was going to be amazing. Also in 2011 Zach made a big decision. Viking was going to operate out of Starbucks and never EVER build a sports facility. 

We were both equally passionate about our ideas. So we decided to explore both. With the facility idea, I hustled. I found land, I talked with members of the local government, and I lined up funding sources. With the Starbucks idea, Zach hustled. He talked with important people, figured out customer patterns, and how to carve out a Viking space. We came back to share our thoughts. With my idea, it would increase our exposure overnight, give us a home base, but would also put us into a tremendous amount of debt with no guarantee of revenue. With Zach’s idea, we would have no overhead, we would be a nimble company which would allow to grow quickly into new markets, but we would have no corporate headquarters or public exposure. So we decided that we were both right and a few years later the Viking Activity Center was born out of COMPROMISE. Viking now had a home base (even though it was smaller than I hoped) with little overhead (more cost than Zach hoped) that still allowed us to stay nimble in the market and it has proven to be an incubator for Vikings growth.

Having the ability to fully vet ideas with someone else ensures only the most thought out ideas take root. 

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