Don’t Hold the Elevator.

Some friends hold you back. Most of the time it’s unintentional, sometimes not. The best way I could sum this up was with an elevator analogy.

We’ve been taught to wait and hold the elevator for others. I challenge you to stop.

Money is important — this is a fact. It’s the most discussed topic in the Christian bible. Countless books are written on the subject every year. It’s the foundational argument of every political campaign, and even the cause of most divorces. Money itself has no value. It’s a green piece of paper, but the things that money can buy become the driving force of many motives: power, sex, fame, freedom, etc.

I recently ran into a money issue with a friend. I was owed money, and when I called into question some money practices taking priority before me being paid back, I got an email chocked full of excuses. The exchange was hurtful because I treat money as a sacred space that should not cause strife among friends if communication is left open and honest.

Heck I even forgo partnerships because I value the relationship of the friend before the money. But instead of getting a simple apology, I was shamed in more ways than one. The most revealing part of that email was the hidden resentment I never noticed was brewing.

Check out this episode of “Friends.” An oblivious Ross didn’t know the rest of his friends couldn’t afford the dinner bill, and that’s when Phoebe snarks back something fierce.

The six friends discover that money is an important issue. Now by the end of this episode something bigger brings all the friends back together again. But that’s not always the case. In my case, I solicited advice from others…most of them saying to let her go, leave the negative energy behind, etc.

I thought long and hard about it, since I considered her my #bizbestie, but eventually I conceded. She has deeper issues to work out that manifested in that long email. Now when I say “let go,” I don’t mean cutting that person out of your life completely. I mean accepting, what my friend Aandra Bohlen speaks, that “not everyone can go where you grow.”

This friend retorted that I “wasn’t fun anymore” because my mindset had shifted on new business prospects. Yes — I’m more focused than ever on providing a life for my family that they deserve. In that statement, I also realized that she wasn’t ready to go where I was growing.

Back to the elevator analogy…

You and a friend are walking at two different paces. You reach the elevator first. Now because your friend hasn’t caught up yet, your foot goes in the threshold to stop the elevator door from closing. But then you realize that this friend is taking her sweet time, and in that time, you play a dangerous game of your foot possibly getting smashed by the closing doors.

Let the door close, sans foot.

Press the button and go to the next level. Yes, doing it alone sucks. It’s lonely in that elevator, and the music blows. What if it breaks and stops between two floors!?

FML.

Business is not for the faint of heart. It’s risky. Sometimes it gets boring. The jerking movement might make your stomach turn. You may even hit a plateau and stop between two floors, but when you finally reach your destination. Damn — the travel was worth it all.

But here’s something you shouldn’t risk. You shouldn’t risk a smashed foot or hand for someone who isn’t in the same circumstance to catch the elevator at the precise time you do.

Now the great thing about elevators is that you can always send it back down.

And as a friend, you should. But even that attempt can be futile. I’ve tried to get this friend going on my same path, but she doesn’t seem to have the same fire in her belly that I do.

And that’s completely okay — she’s meant for other great things. Because when she eventually gets to the elevator, she may not even push my same floor! The upside? Elevators are located in the same building.

I’d like to note that by the end of the series, the “friends” are celebrating Phoebe’s birthday, and they all have advanced in their careers enough to afford a meal at the same high class restaurant oh and my friend eventually paid me all the money back.

Even though I’ve decided to ascend to my floor without my friend, I’m sure our paths will cross again when taking the same elevator to the roof top party. There’s nothing wrong with being fashionably late…

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