Startup? Hustle ain’t so bad. Use what you have.

There’s some debate these days about the current meaning of what it is to hustle. The original, unethical connotations are being replaced by the idea of getting things done, using whatever resources you have, to get your business moving. I say, go for it! And the time you spend doing that will certainly provide for some great stories later.

Take yesterday, for instance. As well as McKee Creative, my partner and I own a couple of Volvo 60 ocean racing yachts that we ran as Grand Prix Yachting on Hamilton Island. That is, until Cyclone Debbie rampaged through the Whitsundays at the end of March this year.

As I speak, many businesses are still in negotiations with their insurance companies and aren’t able to plan too well for the future until they get a response. We’re in that spot. So, no income from the boats, rather extensive repairs needed, and resources needed to move them from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach where they’ll go into the boatyard.

Michael and I weren’t quire sure how we’d do it without over-the-top salvage costs. So, we took it step by step.

It was time to hustle to get the job done.

Both yachts were tied up in line at the dock, port side to, with Merit in the lead. Facing, of course, into the marina. We thought about plans A and B, both of which involved Michael towing me out on Spirit, setting me adrift in the channel, then returning with Merit and attaching a towline for the run back to Airlie. However, the idea of leaving a 60 foot yacht with a 24 m high mast drifting in the current under a flight path didn’t feel so good. Especially with me in charge! And how would Michael cast off with Merit on his own … the bow’s quite a way away from the helm.

Being strategic as he is, Michael attached a second bow line to Spirit. The wind was reasonably light at 15-20 knots. We pushed Spirit backwards, nosed her around and walked her to the long dock at the end of the jetty. Now she faced out of the marina, tied starboard to.

We secured our RIB we’d used to get across to the island close up to the stern of Spirit and prepared a tow line at the bow. Because the breeze was blowing Spirit onto the dock now, we were able to remove the bow line and knew that she’d probably stay put.

Time to get Merit moving. I took the bow line when Michael was ready, then bolted back down the dock, onto Spirit’s bow, ready to pass Michael the tow line when he backed Merit’s stern close by. Gee, we hoped he’d have enough steerage in the marina basin to get Spirit out of the leads without all three vessels getting tangled like spaghetti on the opposite dock!

And just like that, Michael pulled away, I released my stern line and we steered out into the channel.

Was rather a decent, gentle motor back across the Whitsunday and Molle Passages to Airlie Beach …

McKee Creative - Startup? Hustle ain't so bad. Use what you have.

Of course, we didn’t reach Airlie Beach until around 7 pm. Which meant anchoring in the dark … which Michael pulled off with Spirit still attached to Merit via the towline, (who anchors and reverses to secure the anchor with a tow line attached?!). He then pulled Spirit in, jumped aboard at the bow, allowed Spirit to float a little down on the current, and manually dropped the anchor with the current taking Spirit back to pay out the chain.

Job done.

I’m sure you have loads of challenges in getting your business up. But, whatever you’re facing right now, look at what you do have that you can use to get the job done. These days, that’s what is often called ‘hustle’. And let me know when you do because I’d love to celebrate with you!