Nobody owes you anything. You don’t deserve sponsors just because you’re talented. Talent is everywhere. It’s your character, work ethic, willingness to learn, educate others and how you represent yourself and the sport, that will get you sponsorships.
Sponsorships are a trade of money, products or services for your services which makes them a two-way street. You need to be willing to put in the time to be a true Ambassador for the company by understanding who they are and what they’re working to accomplish, first. Then, sharing their content, talking about them with friends, tagging them on social media, using their products and/or services, checking in with them regularly and becoming a part of their company. And you need to do that all BEFORE you ask for sponsorships. Show them who you are and what you’re willing to do.
Donations are used to support a good cause. There’s nothing wrong with asking for donations for a good cause. Maybe you raise money to spread awareness for an organization and part of the money you raise goes back to the organization in some way, while the rest puts you in a position to spread awareness for the cause. Donationa still take effort on your behalf.
If you are asking people/companies for “sponsorships” with the intent to use the money or product only to benefit and advance yourself and your own cause, you’re asking for a hand out. You’re asking to use someone else’s hard earned money to chase YOUR dream without giving anything back in return. This is NOT who we want to be.
Again, nobody owes you anything. If you’re struggling financially at chasing your dream, go to work. If your kids have big dreams, teach them how to go to work! You can either do your research, educate yourself and come up with a proposal for the work you’re willing to do for companies you would love represent, or ride horses for other people, clean stalls, work for a farmer, work cattle at your local sale barn, help bale hay, work at a restaurant, etc. Find a job that will be flexible with their hours so you can work on the weekends or later into the night when you’re home and leave during the season.
There are people out there who love to help others chase their dreams, but only when you truly appreciate it and they can see that you're willing to put in the work. Be honest with your intent when you take the job. BONUS, there’s no better time than right now to get a job and set your hours. There are for hire jobs everywhere around the country making deals that have never been made just to keep their doors open.
We, as members of the western industry, were raised with the values and ethics of hard work, integrity, humbleness, honesty and independence. Something that is diminishing in our country. We all get to a point in life where we have to set aside our ego and our pride, get gritty and do what it takes to make our own dreams happen instead of counting on someone else. That time is now. Remember who we are and how we got here. Get out there and work for what you want.
The good Lord didn’t give you your talents and your goals to use just for yourself. He gave you those gifts as your way to go out into the world and make a positive difference. He gives us gifts, talents and dreams we love so that we enjoy doing it and will stick to it during the hard times. So that we can learn lessons and share them with people that will lead us back to him. Don’t ask for handouts, turn to him and he will put the right people and situations in your life to guide you to those big goals, BUT he won’t hand it over!
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Romans 3:5-6
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” -Peter 4:10