Top 10 Ways to Overcome a Fear of Elevators

Many people are afraid of elevators. Some even turn down lucrative job offers because they entail going higher than the first floor in buildings where the stairs are closed for security reasons. Whatever the reason someone fears getting on an elevator, there are many ways to combat that fear. First and foremost is professional help. Whether someone needs a psychiatrist to prescribe medications to alleviate a mental-health condition or a clinical psychologist to discuss coping mechanisms in therapy sessions, this is the most effective way, for most people, to deal with such fear.


When it comes to self-applied methods of controlling one’s fear of elevators, it’s all about distraction. The idea is to concentrate on something else so the mind doesn’t have the opportunity to think about the fear. It might not always work, but it gives the elevator phobic a definite advantage. It’s a good idea to use all of the following suggestions in a rotating fashion so that the mind doesn’t get used to one particular method.


  1. Carry a book of crosswords and a pencil that you can take out when necessary. This will also help you break the ice with any other passengers on the elevator. “What’s a six-letter word for whatsit?” is an innocuous question that is unlikely to cause any problems.
  2. Wear a rubberband around your wrist and snap it. Not only will the tiny sting distract you, but you can also snap it in rhythm to your favorite song.
  3. Carry your keys in your pocket and try to determine which key is which only by feel. You can also do the same thing with coins.
  4. Choose a specific word length and circle all the words in a newspaper that are that long. You can combine this one with the crossword puzzle book for variety instead of using a newspaper.
  5. Jot down to-do lists or other lists that pique your interest, such as “top 10 baseball players of all time,” or similar.
  6. Count ceiling or floor tiles, or mentally estimate the size of each tile and do the math for figuring out the square footage of the floor or ceiling.
  7. Think up a girl’s name for every letter of the alphabet. Then, do the same thing with boy’s names if it’s a long ride.
  8. Try to read your newspaper or magazine upside down. It’s harder than you think.
  9. Carry a round hairbrush and flick the bristles while doing one of the mental activities on this list. If the fear gets worse, clutch the bristles and rotate the brush. The slight pain will certainly distract you.
  10. Play a game or text someone on your mobile device. If you’re alone on the elevator, call someone: Just being able to talk to someone can be a relief.


For people who are afraid of elevators, thankfully, even 100-story rides on modern elevators rarely take more than a minute. You’ll only have to distract yourself for a short while before the doors open and you’re on firm ground yet again.

Things to Consider When Starting an Elevator Business

If you’re a budding entrepreneur and want to start a business that promises to see growth in its industry of 25 percent from 2015 to 2022, then an elevator installation and maintenance business is an excellent choice.

Elevators move more than 300 million passengers daily throughout the United States, and all those elevators need someone to help with the upkeep. Additionally, there are many technological breakthroughs on the verge of hitting the marketplace. Chief among these is like something straight out of science fiction: the elevator that goes sideways as well as up and down. ThyssenKrupp Aktiengesellschaft is at the forefront of this exciting innovation, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to fruition in New York City.

To begin the process, you should evaluate both the market in the city where you wish to locate your business. Large, urban centers, such as New York and Chicago, offer the most opportunities; however, midsize cities can also provide an exceptional opportunity if there are few competitors. Using the information regarding the competition as a guideline, you should then craft a business plan. Although this seems a daunting task, there are many commercially available software programs to assist you with it.

Contact an established elevator repair and installation firm in a city that would not directly compete with you for business and ask for a few tips. The best answers come from those who are already doing the work.

Before you lay the cornerstone of your new business, however, you must first cultivate some business relationships with building owners and businesses in the city where you intend to do your work. Having the best business plan around and exceptional equipment and staff will be useless if there are no buildings that need your services.

To alleviate some of the tedium of pavement pounding looking for jobs, you might consider acquiring an existing, successful elevator business. If the business is successful, the current owner will have already done the legwork for you; you’d only have to change the sign over the door and the letterhead on the stationery. If you’re savvy enough, you might even leapfrog other elevator businesses with more experience. If the world of leveraged buyouts and takeovers isn’t your bag, then you might consider purchasing a franchise of a large-scale elevator business.

In all cases, unless you have a seven or eight-figure bank account, you’re going to need startup capital. Over the years, fledgling entrepreneurs have borrowed from family members, banks and any one of a number of different entities. It’s essential to have a first-rate business plan in place before going searching for money. Otherwise, smart investors will pat you on the head before showing you the door. One more thing to remember: When you hit it big, remember where you started. Write a check to the next starry-eyed entrepreneur who crosses your path. Paying it forward is its own reward, and network building is never a wasted activity.

Start Elevator: Giving New Yorkers a Safe Ride

Start Elevator is based in Bronx, New York, and is proud to serve all five boroughs. John O’Shea founded the company in 1992 upon the premise that all customers are created equal, no matter the size of the job, and are deserving of exceptional service, top-flight workmanship and hgh-quality products. The company constantly strives to achieve all three of these goals. Total customer satisfaction is another of the company’s chief aims; all 85 current staff members, including ownership, believe in being “hands-on” when it comes to customer interaction, job-site workmanship and problem rectification.

The company feels that, in large part, its success is incumbent upon its family-owned and -operated philosophy that harks back to a time when someone’s handshake was as good as a contract. Start Elevator also believes that no two situations, or customers, are exactly alike. So the company personalizes all of its services to ensure each customer gets just what he or she needs or wants. Because of the company’s policies and its dedication to excellence, it fits right in with the precepts of the National Association of Elevator Contractors, which stress teamwork, accountability and a near-fanatical desire to improve constantly.

In addition to improving its service and quality, the company is also seeking to expand its sphere of influence throughout the tri-state area and increase its annual sales. The company wants to, through this expansion, become a leading provider of elevator maintenance and upgrades to New York City and environs. By combining this goal with its other goals, Start Elevator wishes to build a serious competitive advantage in the marketplace.

By endeavoring to improve itself through implementation of its goals, the company has grown to accommodate $16 million worth of projects annually. Some of these projects are small, costing roughly $50,000, while others involve capital totaling nearly $4 million each. The company comprises five departments, maintenance, repair, modernization, construction and testing/violation all of which operate simultaneously. The “hands-on” approach favored by the company allows management to oversee jobs performed by either branch in the field, which increases productivity and quality and, indirectly, customer satisfaction. Even the owner himself gets involved in working directly with customers on job sites.

In an effort to highlight its dependability, Start Elevator also takes pride in showing up on time, completing all work it promises and sticking as close to budget as possible. The company wants all of its customers to be able to rely on it for not only the job at hand but also future projects. Such dedication has resulted in the company winning several awards, which include the 2000 Bridges to Success award, which rewards the entrepreneurial spirit shown by significant growth and fiscally sound expansion. Start Elevator also partners with other organizations, such as Bottom Line.

Because the company wants to be involved in the community as more than just an elevator service, it donates regularly to Ronald McDonald House in New York City. Not only did the company install two elevators there free-of-charge, but it has also donated generously the charity that supports families of sick children undergoing treatment. In 2011, the owner of Start Elevator heard of an 11-year-old boy named Livan Fernandez who had trouble reaching his physiotherapy appointments because of a broken elevator. Mr. O’Shea offered to repair the broken elevator in the Livan’s building and, in a similar way to what he had done for Ronald McDonald House, performed the work gratis.

The combination of office personnel, field workers, foremen and women and construction, modernization and repair teams all work together to make Start Elevator a successful, vibrant and growing business that tries to serve the tri-state area outstandingly. Because the company trains its workers all the time to keep up with all applicable technological advances and procedural improvements, it strongly believes it can accomplish any elevator-related task that might arise.

In all it does, Start Elevator aims to:

  • Provide levels of service of which it can be proud
  • Use only state-of-the-art tools, products and methods
  • Maintain a highly trained and motivated workforce
  • Take a “hands-on” approach and present a familial atmosphere in all customer relations
  • Be an integral part of the tri-state community through community outreach and charitable work
  • Expand its business and influence throughout the five boroughs and increase its sales beyond the current level of around $18 million