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Finding Power in Your Weaknesses With Michael Elkins


Michael Elkins is a 20-year nationally quoted labor, employment, and sports law attorney. He is the Founder of MLE Law, a full-service labor, employment, and business law firm that focuses on assisting clients with day-to-day operations. Michael is the creator and host of the Quarter Four Podcast, where he covers the intersection between business and sports by providing listeners an inside look into the psychology of what makes people successful on and off the field.

Before founding MLE Law, Michael was the Equity Shareholder and Co-chair of the Litigation Practice Group for Bryant Miller Olive P.A., an Attorney and Shareholder for Fowler White Burnett, P.A., and the Founder and Partner for Corcoran & Elkins, LLP. He has been featured on CNN and in Forbes, Newsweek, The New York Daily News, Bloomberg, and The Miami Herald, and has provided extensive commentary regarding vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Michael Elkins talks about the wake-up call that jump-started his law career
  • Why failure is an effective way to grow and learn how to be successful
  • Understanding your weaknesses to showcase your strengths
  • Michael discusses building a law brand on social media
  • Michael shares his rituals and how reading improves your mental clarity and agility
  • What are some of Michael’s favorite podcasts?

In this episode…

When facing adversity, what can you do to become mentally resilient? How can you bring high-level value to your clients on legal issues in the public eye?

Michael Elkins knows that nobody is perfect, but embracing those imperfections is where real growth happens. By understanding and using your weaknesses to fuel your strengths, you can more easily maneuver obstacles and make decisions that best fit your company. Michael has taken to social media to help other attorneys and corporations, large and small, to explore and comment on issues publicly to bring value to their clients.

In this episode of 15 Minutes, Michael Renfro sits down with Michael Elkins, Founder of MLE Law, to discuss relabeling your weaknesses as strengths. Michael talks about what prompted his interest in becoming an attorney, how to look for positives amid negativity, and how social media can help build your brand.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.

To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.

To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to Adam@gladiatorlawmarketing.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01  

You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.

Michael Renfro  0:13  

Hello everyone, Michael Renfro here I’m the host of 15 Minutes share your voice where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode as always, is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing where we deliver tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. That’s a mouthful to have a successful marketing campaign and to make sure that you’re getting the best ROI. Your firm does need to have a better website and better content than the competition simply put, so at GLM, we use artificial intelligence combined with machine learning, and then put on top of that literally more than a century of experience to outperform the competition. If you want to learn more, please go to Gladiator Law Marketing which is all spelled standard Gladiator Law Marketing and that is GladiatorLawMarketing.com. And with that, close this Today’s guest is Michael, is it Elkins. Am I pronouncing that right? Yes. Okay, got it. So Michael wants to tell us a little bit about yourself. You know, before we even get into the interview, just kind of tell everybody what your practice areas where you’re located, just the general stuff and anything else you’d like to throw in there in the beginning?

Michael Elkins  1:27  

Yeah, sure. Fort Lauderdale, Florida based, national, but practice nationally labor and employment law, business, general business and sports law. I’ve been in this game for probably 21 years now. I’m the founder of MLE Law, which is my own firm, which I founded in 2019

Michael Renfro  1:48  

MLB major league.

Michael Elkins  1:51  

And before that, I worked for a series of Florida based large to mid-sized law firms. I had a stint in there a long time ago where I had my own practice for a few years, eons and eons ago. And, you know, I do a lot of work with the media nationally quoted on a lot of employment and sports issues. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, as well as my practice. So that’s a little bit about me.

Michael Renfro  2:15  

Oh, no, that’s awesome, man, that so we’ve actually got somebody who we can, we can truly shine the light on today. So let’s ask this. And when I say get started, let’s I’m gonna focus it more since you kind of gave me that. That little bit of history there. How did you get started in the sports? And the sports law? Yeah,

Michael Elkins  2:35  

so sports was always a passion of mine. I think a lot of people you know, big sports fan obviously grew up in New England. So patriots. Right. There you go. There you go. So Pat, football season started. And, you know, I became a labor and employment lawyer primarily representing companies, which is my the base of my practice. And that’s what I still do today. But I noticed down the road, that there’s a tremendous synergy and a dovetail between what I do traditionally did, which is labor law, right? Because you have collective bargaining agreements, and unions and sports. And so I thought, wow, these these really go together. I see

Michael Renfro  3:13  

the coalition right off the bat. I mean, you’re, you’re still work, somebody’s working for somebody else, and they need to be represented.

Michael Elkins  3:18  

Yeah. And there’s, there’s a lot of other things that go with it. So I just started mining contacts, right in the industry, I have a good friend who’s done some work in the NBA as an executive started reaching out on social media. And, you know, before long started handling some arbitrations for, you know, various coaches, it’s recently doing some work for some athlete representation agencies that have some litigation. So that’s kind of how that that started. It really was just sort of, I’d like to work in sports. You know, I didn’t graduate from an Ivy League school. So how am I going to do it? So it just really was get out there, pound the pavement hustle and try to sort of make it all fit. And so far, it’s worked?

Michael Renfro  3:57  

No, that’s awesome. I, I truly am one that believes in Fr. Right, everything happens for a reason. Sure. It gets us where we are. And I will ask this next one, because I kind of hear I heard that, but how did you get started? Like originally, and the attorney game, like what got you into that? Because I hear most attorneys say the same thing. They did not start out life thinking they were gonna.

Michael Elkins  4:19  

Yeah, no, I kind of did. I think, as far as I can remember, I kind of was like, Yeah, I think I want to be a lawyer. You know, and I’m not sure how I knew that. Yeah, I’ve always had sort of a passion for, I guess, arguing in a way, exploring various sides of things. That’s something I always did when I was younger, I was never sort of one track minded. I always like what are the multiple angles here? So for me, it was a pretty natural thing. I didn’t think I was going to be a lawyer. I think there was a period when I first went to college that I was a little lost and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I didn’t do so hot in college because I frankly didn’t try So I thought that that dream was kind of lost. And then I just realized one day like, Look, I need to do something because I had graduated college I was waiting tables was not Not that there’s anything wrong with that I enjoyed it. And I what I wanted to do forever. So I took the LSAT and figured, look, there’s somewhere that’ll take me. And if I can get into law school, I can kind of make it all work. And so that’s exactly what happened. And but I think that I think we wanted to be a lawyer. And I think I did always want to be a lawyer. And I tell people this all the time that there’s a lot of miserable lawyers out there, I’m not one of them. I think I’m doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do. And I think a lot of that, sure, the practice and the profession, like any profession has its own issues. That’s anything. That’s anything,

Michael Renfro  5:47  

even the things that we love dearly, we’re going to find, if you you know, here’s the thing that I always find funny about that statement, do what you love, and you’ll be successful, right? It’s a double edged sword, you’re gonna you’re gonna do what you love and be successful, but then you’re not going to love it the same way you did, as you loved it before it became a business and then you have to run it. Yes. Such you know, and that a lot of people, they forget that a lot of attorneys I know definitely forget that when they first go in, especially to like a solo practitioner practitioner situation, you know, I mean, yeah, that’s

Michael Elkins  6:20  

good. I love what I do. I wake up every day, you know, it doesn’t feel like work. I mean, obviously, again, there’s always an issue with any profession. But by and large, I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to do. And I think a lot of that, though, has to do with the manner in which I do it. And the areas of law that I practice. You know, it’s different for me every day. Yeah, you don’t

Michael Renfro  6:39  

do this. You’re not in the you’re not one of the guys, as they say, you know, checking off the boxes and filling in the blanks. And it’s the same mundane thing every time.

Michael Elkins  6:46  

Oh, my day is totally different every day, it starts early. It’s always interesting. It’s always different. I’m providing real value, real interaction with clients, high, high level sort of legal issues, you know, that are being dealt with on one stream court. Yes. So it’s great. And I love it. I really do. No, that’s

Michael Renfro  7:05  

awesome. So I’m going to kind of wrap up a few of these questions. I know you got a chance to look at them, but you don’t have in front of me. So I’ll just say like this. I like to think of things when I when I talk about challenges or pitfalls, right mistakes, whatever you word people choose. To me, they’re no more than hurdles. And in fact, once we learn, and we go through them, almost inevitably, in my life, at least I’ve seen that they have become the catalyst to a greater moment down the future once I got past that bad moment. So I asked you what do you think was like the biggest challenge that turned into providing you with the biggest milestone and turning point of the of the practice? The current practice? Yeah,

Michael Elkins  7:45  

yeah. I mean, that’s a great question. And the answer is my, my prior incarnation on my own, which was between 2003 and 2007. I had a successful law firm, and then, you know, to be quite frank, we swear on this thread. I swear, you can swear Go ahead, man. To be frank, I fucked it all up. I just mismanaged it. It’s kind of a

Michael Renfro  8:07  

what we do in our early said, Hey, man, we you know, you got to learn from it, though, right? If you don’t, you won’t know what not to do later on.

Michael Elkins  8:14  

Just a stupid kid thought he knew everything didn’t understand a little bit. He didn’t understand that that didn’t, didn’t even want to discuss, you know, do I even know what I don’t know that. So

Michael Renfro  8:26  

that wasn’t an option at the time.

Michael Elkins  8:30  

And luckily, I had a book of business. So I was able to close that firm and be a partner at various mid sized to large law firms without any problems. But for sure that failure allowed me to take this version of my own practice and sort of what I say, do it the right way. Now, does that mean everything? Oh, yeah. 2.0. And then certainly not everything I do is perfect. I know, aches. I know that. But at least now I know. And I ask, and I always, you know, before I make decisions, sometimes if I feel like I’m maybe a little rash, or am I stepping outside the wrong way here? I think back to what I did back then. And I think all right, look, let’s look back. Let’s see, did you encounter this before? So maybe to be a little bit more deliberate? I mean, I’m certainly a risk taker, by nature, by law firm is risky. From a concept standpoint, I’m very non traditional, you know, use of social media,

Michael Renfro  9:27  

learn from your you learn from your errors. And, you know, part of what makes a great lawyer is the fact the more cases they have under the belt, the more variations Sure, right, that they have of, of where to go. I’ve always noticed. I mean, it’s literally part of the AWS mantra in the sense of when you go to law school, half of what you do is looking up old cases, so you know how to handle them in the future, right there. Yeah, but I think one of the things you said oh, sorry, what did you have someone else? No, go ahead. But I was gonna say, I don’t know if you’ve read this book, The boy the mole, the fox and the horse. Have you heard of this book?

Michael Elkins  9:58  

But it sounds interesting.

Michael Renfro  10:00  

It’s a It’s funny enough, so it’s kind of labeled as a children’s book. But the first thing that guy says in there is it’s for anybody from 80 to eight, right? So that got me right off the bat and I read it, it takes about 30 minutes to read. It’s very short. And but one of the best quotes in there, it’s just these three friends, right? Mole, box boy, horse. And the voice says to I think it was the horse. I can’t remember exactly which character but it says, What’s the bravest thing that you ever said? And the horse replied, help. Yeah, I mean, like, it’s, it’s, you would love this book. It’s literally nothing. But philosophy is like the, you know, the boy asks, What do you want to be when you grow up kind? So it’s kind of a book on stoic philosophy, but written through the eyes of you know, I tell people this. I’m a lover of Shel Silverstein and The Giving Tree. Yeah, and the other ones that he did to his poems and poetry. This reminds me of the closest thing I’ve ever seen to equal. In fact, it has surpassed it is now my favorite book of all time. Just because it’s so simple and says everything it needs to it’s like it. Like he ripped it out of my head and put it down for the way that I’ve gotten to the point of where I am now at 50.

Michael Elkins  11:08  

I mean, I’m definitely gonna check that out. And you mentioned stoicism. I mean, I our stoic philosophy, I use stoicism every day. You know, my favorite authors Ryan Holiday. You know, I make no, I talked about that all the time. The obstacles the way you know, that whole, the daily stoic, that whole line of books by Ryan is, is phenomenal. So I’ll definitely check out.

Michael Renfro  11:29  

I’ll check those out. Because I am not familiar with him. But you know, it goes with kind of why ask the question. I know, we diverted but I love it. I truly believe now when I you know, at this point in my life when something bad happens. I know it is the introduction to a better day, it may take away, it may take 10 years to transpire. Right? But if that bad moment didn’t happen, then the good one never could. Yeah,

Michael Elkins  11:54  

I mean, that’s that that’s the balance. And that’s, that’s the entire book, The obstacle is the way that you know, the

Michael Renfro  12:00  

figured out when you I kind of like to look forward to them almost and not, you know, there’s still bad, you’re gonna feel bad, you’re gonna have depressed moments, we’re not perfect. I think the most perfect thing we can do is realize that we are not perfect and go with our imperfections, right? Use the imperfections as as a gift, really,

Michael Elkins  12:19  

I mean, that, you know, the old idea of the impediment to action is the action, right? And the idea that like, like you said, we’re not perfect and embracing those imperfections. And I tell people all the time, they always ask me, Well, do you work on your weaknesses? Right? That’s like a big thing. Yep. I actually, I understand what my weaknesses are. I play to my strengths. Yep. With understanding what my weaknesses are. And so when I know if I know where my weaknesses are, and I maneuver

Michael Renfro  12:44  

routes them, yeah, announce them to people, I let them know, Hey, I’m, I’m a dominating interrupting. I’m all. I’m also all this and I’m gonna help you.

Michael Elkins  12:54  

And I’m okay with those weaknesses. I don’t think I was when I first got into this game, you know, however long ago? I think I probably covered that up or wasn’t extent No, I

Michael Renfro  13:04  

beat myself up for many years due to a lot of my weaknesses, you know, I have ADHD, and what’s the other one obsessive compulsive disorder, right. So, you know, I would used to I would, back in the day, like this was even four years ago would announce them in a way that they were more detrimental to my vein, versus Hey, this is part of who I am. And I’ve learned to work it into, you know, what I need to be and how I need to be, you know, many times, quite frankly, if you’re trying to talk and teach somebody something, it takes that abrupt kind of person to get the point across rather than you might want to try this.

Michael Elkins  13:42  

I mean, I’m certainly very direct, very passive. And that works for some people, it doesn’t. And sometimes that happens with potentially new clients, where I explain to them like, Listen, if you’re looking for a lawyer that’s a little bit more sensitive, or is going to cuddle a little bit more, and those lawyers exist. Yep, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just not the guy. Like, that’s why everything

Michael Renfro  14:04  

has to be a good fit. You talked about synergy. You know, one of the consistent themes that I get, and I guarantee you’re gonna touch on this, I can just tell from talking to you. But one of the consistent synergies that I get a consistent answers that I get in concerns to what they’ve learned, right, their biggest challenge for a lot of attorneys, it was how to say no to a case, right? Learning that that was not a good fit that the moment you did the interview, right, that initial consultation, you knew that even if they were willing to say yes, and most likely sometimes they were that it wasn’t actually advantageous for the firm. It wasn’t a good fit, they would find a better representation somewhere else. And we have a lot of, you know, in sales is the same thing. And I’m sure you understand that. Right? Especially in an agency environment. You take someone because they have the money and they say yes, and you’re like we need the money. But then you you know as you get older, and you start to believe certain philosophies like stoic If you go, Hey, man, I really liked you, I really want your money. But this is not a good fit. And I think, you know, are these folks, you know, down the line here, they’ll probably be great for you. And maybe you can, you know, you try to sell it I try to do is say, as I say, keep the bridge in tax so that they don’t feel that I Dishonored them in any way. But it’s just not a good fit, man. I’m not and I’m not trying to pull the taken away from you so that you buy with me, like, you know, because I get that too. Like, I really want to do business with you. And I really get that man, but it’s not a good fit. Not a good fit. Yeah, not a good fit.

Michael Elkins  15:30  

I wrote Absolutely. Sometimes the best cases of the cases I’ve said no to. So. Yeah,

Michael Renfro  15:35  

exactly. Because you you knew that taking it ultimately would cost you more money than you could ever possibly make.

Michael Elkins  15:41  

Yeah, it’s something that’s going to impact my you know, sanity, or it’s not enjoy or work on I’m yeah, I’m at a place in my career where I’m very fortunate to be able to sort of pick and choose for sure.

Michael Renfro  15:55  

I agree. What would you say is your number one proudest moment from the time you were born until the time you’re here with me

Michael Elkins  16:02  

now? Um, you know, it has to be I mean, putting aside obviously, like family achievements and things like that, if I’m speaking strictly professionally, yes. It’s definitely got to be opening this, you know, they’ll be want to be Yeah, absolutely. You know, there was a lot of risk involved in doing it. I wrote about this on LinkedIn. And then, you know, got some attention that I opened the firm, right after I had earned the most money I had ever learned in my legal career. You know, I walked in two days afterwards and said, Yeah, I’m out. With no real. I mean, I had a plan, obviously, but I know, a leap of faith

Michael Renfro  16:39  

more than anything else. Well, that’s the way I hear it. I’m sorry. I

Michael Elkins  16:43  

don’t Yeah, no, no, no, that’s you’re right. I mean, I didn’t know if the plan would work that the game plan was to do this game, to continue to represent businesses, right? Corporations, large, medium and small. But to have a really bold and aggressive social media presence, unlike what you kind of see from normal lawyers to have a very aggressive approach in commenting on issues publicly, and

Michael Renfro  17:08  

very transparent to like, from, from your posts, and from the videos that you Yeah, don’t hold back.

Michael Elkins  17:16  

That could have completely backfired. If it was going to work. I thought it would work. But it didn’t. It didn’t

Michael Renfro  17:23  

backfire for Tom McDonald him and Eminem. Eminem though, right? So I mean, I’m not saying you’re as extreme as them. But like, sometimes being the extreme voice is you find out that you’re really not as extreme as you may thought there was a huge number of people that you know, yeah, I one of the things

Michael Elkins  17:41  

that became a theme with this, because what ended up happening is I hear from a lot of other lawyers, about they want to do the same thing. And I’ve given seminars on it now. So um, you know, they have all these law

Michael Renfro  17:52  

becomes inspiration, like, Dude, I know you’re feeling that, like you’ve become not just successful at your business, but an inspiration to other people in the industry. I get

Michael Elkins  18:02  

news on LinkedIn about it. I just gave a talk a couple of weeks ago, to the seminar group, a bunch of lawyers about social media and the law and building your brand and all that fun stuff. So it kind of worked out. And now it’s branched into doing like, funny tiktoks. And, you know, a whole bunch of other stuff. And who knows

Michael Renfro  18:18  

where the hell it’ll go in the next 10 years. Let me just say that, and I hope we’ll have you back in a year. I just so you know, I would love to have you back in a year to see where things are, are just throw that out there now. Yeah, I

Michael Elkins  18:28  

appreciate I’d love to be back. It’d be awesome. So, in

Michael Renfro  18:31  

this journey, who do you think would be and you can name more than one if you if you feel the need, but who do you think would be the the mentor that gave you the best piece of advice. And if again, if you have more than one that you want to share, by all means? Um,

Michael Elkins  18:43  

so you know, I have kind of two sets of mentors, right. The first group of mentors, were my prior employers or lawyers that I worked with at my prior firm earnings. Right? Yeah, that taught me how to be a lawyer. And that ultimately became my business partners. I mean, they they really did teach me how to practice at a very, very high level. Now, we ultimately all had a big falling out. When I decided to do this. Yeah, do this very differently. I mean, you see it, I kind of liken it to not that not that we’re the same at all. But you look at the Brady Bella check breakup, right. Brady was with Coach Bella check for 20 years. Yeah, he’s not the Brady that he would be today without Coach Bella check, but it was vice versa. Right, exactly. But it was time for a separation those who could not

Michael Renfro  19:31  

sing. This world lasts for ever. It’s honestly I think the more people that understand that, the more they’ll have an easy time when things change.

Michael Elkins  19:40  

And I wouldn’t be the lawyer I am today without those lawyers that were my mentors but we have a fundamental difference now I’m different. That means me years later, so it was time to separate and you know, that’s hard to do from everyone. Oh, yeah. Right socially to

Michael Renfro  19:58  

I imagine because you know, Originally tied to some of these bikes, I can only assume that you absolutely. Were you partnered up with them. So,

Michael Elkins  20:04  

yeah, but it was time to change. And so from a mentorship standpoint, how to be a lawyer, they were tremendous. They were the influence. And I, I’m never shy about that. From a business perspective, though. There wasn’t anybody individually, you know, that I know, personally, that mentored me. But certainly I looked at certain influencers or things I read up Gary Vaynerchuk was a big part of what I did. I don’t follow him as much now. But the idea of putting yourself out there, right. And certainly stoic philosophy, right, like, the idea of most of what we fear is stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. Or may never know it.

Michael Renfro  20:44  

We spend more time fearing what has never end, man and probably will, will never come to volition.

Michael Elkins  20:50  

So when I decided to go out on my own, I had fear. And I realized, well, I mean, I’m fearful of something that hasn’t happened may never happen, push it away. Those types of things, from a business standpoint, are tremendously and remain tremendously influential on me, I always make sure. And I think I always say to myself, you know, I’m doing things differently, right. But I want to make sure that I continue to do things differently. So

Michael Renfro  21:15  

right, you don’t want to in your, in your in your, you know, yeah, even though it’s different. If you stay stagnant in your different ways, they will become the same and other people will mock them too.

Michael Elkins  21:25  

Right? Correct. So I’m always making sure to question when I’m doing Am I, you know, I don’t, I don’t believe in change for the sake of change. That’s not my philosophy, like, I want to make sure. Am I doing? What’s not broken? And am I doing things that are best for my organization? You know, whatever that may be. So is it if it’s okay, you were doing great on Facebook, let’s pivot to tic tock. Does that make sense for you? Yeah. Now it makes sense to pivot. So those types of things, and those are the kinds of influences and remain the influences on me today. And I look to people that are dynamic, I, I don’t do like this whole. I’m going to crowdsource a bunch of different opinions. When I make decisions. That’s not my style, either. Like I try to stay confident in my decision making process don’t always make the right decision. But I’m pretty comfortable with knowing kind of what’s best for my organization. That makes sense.

Michael Renfro  22:21  

No, I have a little thing that I did. I came up with personally, one of my own. I believe it to be you can you can call it stoic if you want. But be true to you and you’ll pull through.

Michael Elkins  22:34  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It makes complete sense to me. It How do I say it when,

Michael Renfro  22:41  

you know, what’s funny is most time when I give philosophy, I tried to save me and I so that I’m not telling someone else how to be but I tell them through my own experience, but that one just came to me because, you know, the biggest thing is we also speak many times these little things to ourselves. So if I’m speaking for myself, right, I kind of want to hear myself say to me, right? You be true to you. Absolutely true. It’s gonna be you know, you stay true to you and everything’s gonna work out exactly the way that it’s supposed to.

Michael Elkins  23:11  

I agree completely.

Michael Renfro  23:13  

I love the conversation man really do what some of your What’s some of the daily rituals that a crazy sob like you does, man, what’s one of the ones you consider that you find most important that you can’t? Like? It’s just one of those, you know, and I guarantee you have a couple because I just kind of know the guy, right? So tell me some of those things that you would consider most important.

Michael Elkins  23:32  

I mean, I don’t know about ritual, but certainly working out tremendously important to me.

Michael Renfro  23:38  

out like physically, you mean like doing the work? Okay. Yeah.

Michael Elkins  23:42  

Yeah, I was a amateur competitive weightlifter, a couple years back and stuff like that, the Olympic weightlifting. But then the other thing is, I always make sure to take some time, whether it’s it’s not always in the morning, good morning or the evening, but to make sure that I read the Daily stoic every day, which is a very short read. And then I also try to read whatever something that might be completely not related to my work. Right. So those are probably the two two most important rituals.

Michael Renfro  24:13  

Yeah, in the same journey to find when I found that book, because I was looking for a new book on philosophy. Have you seen this one by chance? I have not. So the title of it is simply the philosophy book, right? Big ideas simply explained. Now, I will say it doesn’t necessarily focus on stoic philosophy, but there’s obviously a lot of it in there. Right? It’s still I think you would find it what I love about it is the same reason that you’re talking about I go to it because it has nothing to do with law. It has nothing to do with to do with my personal life. It has to do with the philosophy of living life and what is most important, important, absolutely. Love it. No, I get that. You would, you would like it. I’ll just read like there’s just too often I saw when I got it like Oh, off the cover, they have all these ones, right? So the universe has not always existed to me. I think that speaks volumes when you’re talking about change, like it hasn’t always been here. And it’s not always going to be, make it for what it is right? Live life for what it is at every single moment. That’s what that says to me. Absolutely. And then the end justifies the means. That’s one that I could argue both sides, right. Like I could have, I could have a lovely debate with anybody who wants to have it on. How do you actually take those words?

Michael Elkins  25:28  

And absolutely, yeah, I mean, I agree. And I think that’s all like interesting stuff. And for me, those concepts permeate you know what I do? Know,

Michael Renfro  25:37  

they do, that’s I’ve never brought these books up just so you know, the only with you. So what’s something that most people don’t know about you like a quirk a strange habit? And when you’re thinking about that, I’m gonna give me a double question here, because many times it ends up being the same. And what is one of the craziest things you’ve ever done so many times, one of the craziest things you’ve ever done is something that nobody knows about you. It can be two different things. But there you go. What’s something quirky, strange habit that most people don’t know? And then what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Michael Elkins  26:10  

Yeah, so quirk strange habit. I mean, I don’t know about there’s not much that people don’t know about me, because part of your book is I kind of put myself out there. So I don’t know about quirk or strange habit. But, I mean, certainly, you know, I love animals. I had two dogs one recently passed away. So that’s, that’s 16 years great life still have another dog. So one of my habits, I don’t think it’s quirky or strange, as I’m just obviously very dedicated to my animals. So they, my dog will tend to take priority sometimes over things that maybe people think she shouldn’t. But she does craziest thing I’ve ever done. You know, I have been lucky to have a lot of like, just really great experiences. I’d say the craziest thing ever though, was I literally decided one day, I was like, You know what? I’m just gonna go to India, China and New Zealand. Yeah, I was like, fuck me. It’s a very bizarre trip. It’s not like

Michael Renfro  27:10  

you’re seeing some serious corners of the earth.

Michael Elkins  27:13  

Yeah, there was really no rhyme or reason to those three locations. In one.

Michael Renfro  27:17  

I kind of got the feeling that you literally just flipped the coin to figure out the three destinations.

Michael Elkins  27:21  

And it this was, this was well before the work remote thing was like a thing, right? I told my law firm. I’m like, Well, I’m just gonna go I’ll be able to work remotely. They were like, what? I was like, yeah, it’s not a problem. And I took off for almost a month while still practicing. And so that was, that was pretty crazy. And then there was a bunch of craziness on those trips. And I do

Michael Renfro  27:41  

that we could have a whole episode, I’m sure on each on each destination. So when

Michael Elkins  27:47  

I travel, I travel a ton. So within those within my travels in my 47 years on this earth, there’s probably a zillion crazy stories out there. So yeah, I’ll,

Michael Renfro  27:58  

when we’re done recording, I’m going to share something with you and you’ll you’ll find it quite, quite interesting, I’m sure. Awesome. So I think I got a little bit of this. It was up in New England area. So Where where are you from? And what was it like growing up there?

Michael Elkins  28:12  

I grew up primarily in Cranston, Rhode Island, Cranston, which is oddly the hometown for Family Guy. All right hog is based on Cranston, right? Which is sort of I guess Cranston’s claim to fame. You know, it wasn’t, wasn’t a crazy upbringing, I grew up in sort of a mid to lower class, standard American family only child, not a lot of outrageousness or anything really, terribly. You know, other than I was like, I gotta get fuck out of here. Oh, eight. And I love Rhode Island is not where I want

Michael Renfro  28:45  

to live the rest of my life growing up here, but it’s time to time for a change.

Michael Elkins  28:50  

Yeah. And I, since I left, I’ve grown to appreciate Rhode Island for all of the things that it has. And there’s plenty of them. And certainly, I’m still a Rhode Islander at heart. I mean, I’m huge. Again, huge New England sports fan that came from you know, when I was a little kid, again, you know, patriots Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins all of it. So, but I would say growing up, I had a really good, solid childhood. I just knew though that I wasn’t going to make my life in Rhode Island. I didn’t know where it would be I didn’t know it would be Miami or Fort Lauderdale. But I knew it wasn’t going to be there and that wasn’t there wasn’t anything bad associated. This is not your choice. Yeah, I just wanted to see things see the world a little bit more.

Michael Renfro  29:35  

So no and I that but you don’t have to worry about it because we had the Farley brothers, they came up in 90 and showed us how cool Rhode Island is right like I mean almost every single one of their movie one of my favorite ones is Providence is in the love Mary to but there’s another one they did that a lot of people don’t know about it was a college movie and it was about a guy that was kind of a defunct getting sent up to providence and a school up there try. Yeah. It was, it was the brothers. But it wasn’t the same production team. But in the last all of those movies, I’ve loved them because they really did show us. Hey, we might be in Rhode Island. But we’re another state. And there’s a lot of crazy stuff happening up here.

Michael Elkins  30:15  

Yeah, I mean, that’s great advice love family there. And I go back every year, both to see family and for the path. So

Michael Renfro  30:23  

far, so good. Yeah. So if you had to name one colleague that you’re working with now, who would you name when I asked you this? Who do you most respect in your industry?

Michael Elkins  30:36  

Oh, that’s easy. Very easy. Gotta be my best friend, Joshua. And Tim, without question. We went, we met in law school, became really good buddies. And always talked about working together and tried, tried a few times, most recently, before I opened up my own practice, tried to get him to come into my old firm that didn’t work for a whole host of reasons, which my old firm probably looks at now and might regret. If they don’t, they should, you know, as they sometimes say, sometimes the best trades or the trades you don’t make, right. And so when I had whatever happened to me, and my prior firm happened, it was my Josh, who said, Look, open your own thing, come over to my office kind of opened his doors. And we have separate law firms, but we do a lot of work together. We just bought an office, you’re in

Michael Renfro  31:24  

the same roof, though. So you share you share space, but not practice, correct?

Michael Elkins  31:29  

Well, we just bought an office building together. So now we got the building together, which we’re renovating. We were in the same office together. Now we’re both at our houses, but until the buildings done, and we do work a lot of cases together. But we probably practice law together, right? A lot of cases together, we probably talk 10 times a day a day. But you know, I I really try one more time. If you don’t want Joshua and Joshua ends, and I’m gonna reach out to him and try to get him on the show. I’d like to hear I don’t know the other side of the story. Yeah, I really, I think he’s the smartest lawyer. He is the smartest lawyer I know. Both from a legal standpoint, but he’s really exceptional. And I’ve learned this been working with him even the last few years. From a real practical strategy point, which I was good at. But I’m not as I wasn’t as good as this guy. And I’ve learned a ton. And truly, I really don’t make a lot of moves on the legal side. He’s the first person I

Michael Renfro  32:31  

call, right like you’re you get his advice and his input, at least at the at the bare minimum before you. You make necessary decisions. And I

Michael Elkins  32:38  

mean, it’s just, there’s always he’s always bringing me a different perspective. So tremendous. I mean, he’s my best friend. There’s just no, no other way

Michael Renfro  32:49  

to put it. No, it’s awesome. It’s awesome. So here’s a couple easy ones favorite podcasts and favorite conference.

Michael Elkins  32:58  

Favorite conferences, the MIT sports analytics Conference, which I haven’t been to in a while, but that’s one of my favorites. Favorite podcast. So I listened to a ton of sports podcast, oh, I imagine all of which are patriots centric. Show but they’re all kind of in the same zone, right? Like the sports podcast. They’re great escape. It’s great escapism. So I would say favorite podcast that’s not sports related. Is 99%. invisible.

Michael Renfro  33:28  

99%. Invisible out the check. Yeah,

Michael Elkins  33:32  

it’s, it’s about things that exist, but that we don’t see it deals a lot with like Architecture, Planning. But also like the light, the latest episode was the origin of the bleep. So you know how when there’s a swear word on radio, TV, there’s a beat, right? The whole episode dealt with, where’d that come from? And then kind of the best concepts about is the bleep really even worthy it worth it anymore. Because when there’s a bleep now everyone kind of knows what

Michael Renfro  34:01  

it really there’s actually more it’s more emphasized that you’re cursing when Yeah, oh, and you’re not believed?

Michael Elkins  34:07  

You know, they had another episode about the tunnels? I don’t know, you know, in minutes in Minneapolis, right? The whole city is connected by tunnels, by Skype by skyways. And they had a whole episode about the origin of those gateways, and then how those skyways actually contributed to or helped establish different classifications of people. And I mean, really interesting stuff. So

Michael Renfro  34:28  

that one actually sounds. I watched the documentary years ago, and what you talked here reminded me because it was literally the documentary is F dot u dot c dot k dot, right? So it’s right. And it goes into the origin of the word. I mean, we’re talking about a 90 minute true examination of that word. And most people when they actually go and watch it, they get a whole new perspective of that word and why, you know, number one, it’s the oldest word we cannot find its true origin. These guys did some digging And everybody thinks that it’s fornication under the consent of the king that that’s where the word that was actually just given to it, because it was it. Simply put was, you know, convenient enough that it worked. Right? Someone made it work. I mean, I can take almost any word and come up with a dumb acronym. So, yeah, when you actually do the, when you watch the show, you’re like, Wow, man, this is an interesting word. Because it’s also said the same way in almost every language. Yeah, not said differently. If you go over to Japan, and some dudes, you know, throw in the F bomb, he’s throwing the F bomb, right? It’s not. So yeah, that’s fascinating. I love that. You would do that last question. Yeah. What would you say is your favorite tool and or piece of software that you use throughout your

Michael Elkins  35:46  

day? Oh, I mean, it’s, it’s got to be. It’s not one. It’s got to be social media.

Michael Renfro  35:52  

Social media as a whole. Oh, yeah. I

Michael Elkins  35:54  

don’t know if that’s a tool or software. But

Michael Renfro  35:55  

oh, no. Is there? Is there one that you particularly 10, you know, that you kind of lean towards as your favorite.

Michael Elkins  36:02  

I mean, I don’t know about favorite, but LinkedIn is certainly a place where I’ve developed a community. Right? So that’s been great for me, but also Instagram, and obviously, I’m having some fun with tick tock these days. So I’m really excited to start doing more of these sort of funnier off the beaten path type lawyer videos, you know, this profession takes itself way too serious. And there’s a lot of humor in it. So I play

Michael Renfro  36:27  

are you are 100%? Correct. What, listen, I don’t don’t leave, I want to, I want to stop the recording. I want to say something to you, if you don’t mind. I really love to having you. I definitely want to reach out to your partner. I’m gonna have to go back and watch it again to make sure I get his name, right. Yeah. But I know he’s not technically your partner, but your best friend and slash partner in life or something like that. It was it was honestly it was a pleasure talking to you fascinating. You share some of the same core beliefs that I do. And with that said, I will look forward to having you on again, another day. And what I will say Jerry, go, thanks so much, man. Appreciate it. With that. I would like to say just real quick to the audience. Thank you so much for tuning in again. And we will be back on the next episode. Have a great day. God bless all of you.

Outro  37:16  

Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.

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