An 8-year-old girl is entertaining herself at the pool, while her mother takes her baby brother for a dip in the kids’ pool 25-feet away. She throws a weighted toy in the water, then wearing her pink goggles, she launches her own personal search-and-rescue effort to surface the toy.
Minutes later another young girl jumps into the pool near the 8-year-old, who promptly asks, “Do you want to play with me?”
Of course the other girl does! And they launch into a competitive search-and-rescue game. They toss the toy from the deck, run 4 steps, jump into the water, and retrieve the toy. They make up the rules as they go, and the 8-year-old shares her toys with delight.
Remember how joyous and simple life was at the pool when you were younger?
That’s how the best sponsorship relationships are.
Rather than get all crazy and anxious about approaching a sponsor, keep it light, like the 8-year-old. Invite them to partner with you. Adopt a playful attitude about your collaboration. Teach each other how to collaborate. Be flexible and accommodating. Make some of the rules up as you go so that everyone wins. Go with the flow generated by the dynamic of your relationship.
If you can adopt this intention, you’ll attract great partners and have some fun, too.