It ought to go without saying yet I shall say it: ask sincerely. In the current culture, we all have a highly tuned “B.S. meter.” Others are looking for authenticity and transparency just as you are. Rather than having short attention spans, it is more that we don’t want to waste our time and our own precious resources on fake. Count on whomever you are asking to possess an extraordinary detector of transparency, authenticity, and sincerity.
When whatever we are asking for is important to us, it can be hard to be transparent and thus vulnerable. Still, if what we are asking for is highly important to us, we’ll be willing to risk it.
Consider sharing what efforts you’ve made toward your goal already—that you’ve been at work at it; you’re not looking for a free ride. Share how once you receive what you asked for (it might only be advice), what your next steps are in reaching your goal. People like to contribute to efforts that are moving along, and to see how their part—their resources of time or money or advice or an introduction—are valuable to the effort.
Be excited by your goal and ask with confidence that you’ll reach your goal while avoiding a sense of entitlement that the person you’re asking owes you. That is so unlovely and turns people off. You know that, you’re the same way.