As the COO and Managing Attorney of The Property Advocates, attorney Michael Patrick enjoys using his legal training, knowledge, and experience to help people conquer life’s challenges and achieve the best outcomes.
With extensive experience in both civil litigation and appellate practice, Michael’s work now focuses primarily on first-party property insurance litigation, earning favorable verdicts on behalf of his clients. In addition to his legal savvy, Michael is a dedicated problem solver and bridge-builder who is often called upon to navigate complex issues. Michael offers mindful, generous leadership, a skill he learned growing up with a single mother. Guiding, teaching, and helping others as an example and mentor is Michael’s intrinsic driving force.
Michael Patrick graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Legal Studies and earned his Juris Doctorate from the Barry University School of Law. He is a passionate supporter of the American Cancer Society and has volunteered with both the local Habitat for Humanity and county Teen Court program. Michael often spends his weekends as a backyard grill master with his wife, Miranda, and three children, Aiden, AnnaBelle, and Ava.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts at 5:00 AM each morning with a cup of coffee and a glass of juice. I spend 30 minutes writing in my journal and planning my day ahead, and the next 30 minutes reading a chapter from whatever book I am currently invested in.
I walk my property and make sure all of my animals are fed. (chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, and our family horse). I always make my wife a cup of coffee so that she can start her day, then I put on my dad hat and wake my kids up for school. I spend my morning with them before heading to the office.
Once at the office, I am responsible for the law firm’s day-to-day operations. My day consists of answering the attorneys’ questions, meeting with different firm vendors, ensuring the firm is in compliance with all rules and regulations governing attorneys and law firms, and creating/enforcing the metrics, processes, and procedures for the overall operations of the firm.
I make it home just in time to put my youngest to bed. Before I do anything else, I watch a show with my middle child before doing our bedtime routine. Then I feed the animals once again before helping my oldest with whatever project/homework/extracurricular activity he is working on. After all that is done, I finally shower, have dinner, and spend time with my wife before bedtime.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Whenever I have an idea, I write out what result I want to accomplish, and then I work backward from the result I want to obtain. I do so through implementation and brainstorming, charting out deadlines along the way until I make it back to the original idea. Similar to starting one of those maze puzzles at the finish line and working backward to start. Once that roadmap is created, I can keep myself accountable for following the deadlines until that result is achieved.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The law finally moving into the 21st century. It has always been one of the slowest industries to accept technology or innovation. It took Florida until 2011 to even implement an electronic filing system for court documents, and most correspondence still requires good old-fashioned snail mail.
The Pandemic in 2020 really forced the judicial system to embrace things like virtual appearance, remote proceedings, and even something as small as accepting correspondence via email. I hope the trend continues in the positive direction and does not revert back as safety measures relax over time.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit of mine that I believe makes me more productive is my desire to start my day early in the morning before anyone is awake to prepare myself mentally for the day ahead.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to stay the course. I firmly believe that “everything happens for a reason” and that I am exactly where I was supposed to be in my life. To go back and change any of that would risk a butterfly effect of losing something that I hold dear.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
My father-in-law once told me, “you can be right, or you can be happy, but you can never be both.” Over the years, that has proven true time and time again and has allowed me to achieve inner peace both personally and professionally. Not many people seem to share that mentality and try too often to be both.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I recommend everyone do is to “secure their oxygen mask before helping others.” I have found it so much easier to lend a helping hand and assist those around me when my day starts with my own mental and emotional focus.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have always considered myself a “jack of all trades,” so I have tried to surround myself with those that have specialized skills in different departments and delegate to those individuals to all work separately but parallel towards a common goal.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have realized lately that I have failed in my goal to prepare the team for the road rather than prepare the road for the team. I have worked hard to build the bridge for those who follow me and have forgotten to check in and make sure those people learn how to build the bridge themselves. I have learned to slow down and teach those that come behind me, and the firm has benefited immensely from it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent personally was to open a checking account for my oldest son. He is learning to create a budget, track his spending, and perform chores and jobs around the house to earn more for his account each week.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I have been a huge supporter of both Calendly and Tango. Calendly has allowed me to be available to my support staff and my attorneys but in an organized manner. Tango has allowed me to create workflows across different programs and share a “how to” for each of our processes and procedures with my team.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book I have recommended to everyone is the Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. It has helped me immensely gain a better understanding of not only my emotional self but the actions and reactions of the relationships around me.
What is your favorite quote?
“A man’s success is measured by what his wife and children say about him. Money and accomplishments mean nothing if you let your home fail.” – Tony Gaskins
- You can be right, or you can be happy, but you can never be both.
- It is easier to lend a helping hand and assist those around you when you care for yourself first.
- When you have an idea, write out what result you want to accomplish first, and then brainstorm and chart out deadlines until you make it back to the original idea.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.