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Franchise Blog

Maid Service, Rowing, And Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Frank Berger  |    Jul 2, 2009 6:15:24 AM  |    Founders Blog


1985 Dad Vails Finals

No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Clearly, Mr. Emerson did not row, but he does highlight the similarity between a rowing team and a professional maid service company.

Emerson would have been teaching at Harvard when they built their boat club in 1840. Not to be outdone, Yale did likewise the following year. Neither school got around to racing each other for 12 years. On August 3, 1852 Harvard accepted Yale's challenge to "test the superiority of the oarsmen of the two colleges." This was the genesis of intercollegiate athletics. This is the exact point where the NCAA crawled out of a primordial swamp (pronounced Charles River), in search of the basketball & football.

In football & basketball it is easy to spot the Michael Jordan's…there is no hiding them; but rowing is different. Conformity is rule one and from the river banks great crews make it look easy. They look smooth, but within that team everyone knows who the rugged individuals are. The boat pictured above had a rugged individual sitting in 6-seat. Truth is rowing is a sport of controlled violence.

Competitive rowing is a combination of recruiting, coaching, technique, dedication, teamwork, strategy and conditioning. The rowers are battling physiology just as much as the crews next to them.

A professional house cleaning service is also a combination of recruiting, coaching, technique, dedication, teamwork, strategy and feedback. The maids are battling physiology just as much as the maid service across the street.

In both examples the strongest member of the crew is limited by the weakest, but when everyone pulls together, a crew can exceed the sum of its parts. Within a championship crew & within the professional maids service You've Got MAIDS, we know who the superstars are & we pay tribute to them with our admiration. Just because Mr. Emerson couldn’t see that from the river bank, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


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