Mike Panella is an experienced attorney and the Owner of Panella Law Firm. The team at Panella Law Firm prides themselves on getting great results for clients, specializing in criminal defense, family law, injunctions, traffic, and personal injury matters. Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mike served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- What’s the best advice Mike Panella has received from mentors?
- The rituals that Mike uses to help create a powerful day
- What does Mike mean by work-life integration, and how does it help him maintain balance?
- What are Mike’s favorite podcasts, conferences, and tools?
In this episode…
No matter what industry you’re in, you need balance in your life. But how can you create rituals to foster balance and avoid burnout?
Mike Panella says you need rituals to center yourself before jumping into work. Taking time each day to reflect inward can help you focus your perspective, create powerful days, and service your clients in the best way possible. So before you open your email, hop into a meeting, or check your phone, take time to do something that will fulfill you.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, Michael Renfro sits down with Mike Panella, Owner of Panella Law Firm, to talk about the importance of achieving balance in your life. He describes the rituals that help him create a powerful day, what he learned from mentors, and his favorite podcasts and tools.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Michael Renfro on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Mike Panella on LinkedIn
- Panella Law Firm
- Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
- The Ramsey Show
- National Trial Lawyers Summit
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.
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Michael Renfro 0:10
Moving on, you know when we’re talking about other people who’s with that? And thought, who’s who’s your biggest mentor? And what? What one piece of advice did they give you that, that really stuck out?
Mike Panella 0:40
I’ve been really lucky to have a lot like I’ve had. So Marco Mara and Don West weren’t just one, just one. Like, I was gonna say, also Trish Cashman who’s another veteran?
Michael Renfro 0:53
There’s Okay, so what did Mark give you? And say his name one more time for me?
Mike Panella 0:57
Yeah, no, I’m not choosing one what I will say, No,
Michael Renfro 1:02
that’s what I’m saying. I wanted you to tell me both. The first one was Mark,
Mike Panella 1:05
let me just let me just tell you something. What I think all of the people that have been mentors in my life, the biggest thing that they’ve shown me, it’s honestly what they’ve said, it is the idea of being consistent. When things are very bad, or seem hopeless, and a legal case and whatever, are very, very good. And things are going really, really well in life, on a personal level, or in or in law or whatever. It’s the discipline of the attitude of consistency. That’s what I would say is what I’ve taken from these people. That’s why I consider them mentors and people. I want to be like, being consistent no matter what is happening. I think it’s more about the way my mentors have lived than necessarily align that they’ve said,
Michael Renfro 1:50
Well, since you don’t want to name one your name to give me give me the time. Or I didn’t I didn’t hear and that’s what I’m saying. I’m gonna shut up. Can you just name them again, please?
Mike Panella 1:58
Marco Mara, Don West, Trish Cashman, and a guy named Bob Yates.
Michael Renfro 2:03
This was asked Bob like, VOB. Yeah. So give me just a couple of daily rituals that are the most, what would be the most, you know, important. And your typical day,
Mike Panella 2:14
I think a day is strong. If you can send her yourself before like, jumping onto your email. Like for me, I know that I have a problem. Probably 100 emails, maybe 50 that I haven’t seen since the last time I checked, which was I guess, before I went to bed, right? Maybe, if that? Well, I mean, it’s not like, but it’s a lot, you know. So if I wake up and immediately go to my email account, then it’s already it’s already on the wrong foot. Because now all of a sudden, I’m just into whatever it was, and now I’m chasing. So I think for me, at least, it’s it’s taking the day captive and commanding it and telling the day is what I’m how the day is going to be this. I’m not getting hit by the waves of just whatever’s happening. And trying to somehow stay afloat, I want to tell the waves where to go, you want to have a plan of action with you only way to do that, I think is to like, and I’m not that great at this I just I’m worth actively working on it is to not open the email. And it’s the focus in the morning on just just calm and peace, whether that’s reading, whether that’s a time of prayer, whether that’s spending time with my kids, whatever it is, it’s just I know the waves are out there. I’m well aware. I’m not ignoring them.
Michael Renfro 3:29
We’re not hiding from life, I do the same thing. So that’s why I say we’re not hiding. It’s just preparing.
Mike Panella 3:34
Yeah, we’ll get there. And I, for me, any one of the things I just mentioned, on a daily ritual sets the day into into a very powerful day, even if it’s an extraordinarily serious evidentiary hearing or trial,
Michael Renfro 3:47
do you find yourself doing those just out of curiosity on the weekends, like, you know, just to start your day, even though the weekend is usually a release of work? Do you still kind of get up and do the same things?
Mike Panella 3:58
I try to take the weekend and make that an extended that time? I tried to make like
Michael Renfro 4:05
that. So that’s just the entire weekend from like, yeah, they get off work until Monday.
Mike Panella 4:10
Obviously, I don’t think there’s such a thing as necessarily a work life balance. I think there’s a work life integration. I think that that is more accurate when you’re a business owner and a lawyer, like a symbiotic relationship. Yeah, emergencies happen, things come up. And you absolutely have to deal with life, right. And you have to know which ones you’ve got to get to right now, or else it’s gonna affect somebody else in a negative way, and which ones you don’t. And I think that as far as the weekend is concerned, I try to take as much time as I can. And I wasn’t good at this before. And I’m still working on it. But it take as much time as I can on the balance activities and address things as needed. In my work life integration, right? And the work week, it’s sort of flipped. But I don’t see this as like, it’s the weekend. So all of a sudden, my clients don’t exist. And I don’t say this. It’s the week so my family doesn’t exist. It’s an integration. But I think that the percentage of balance changes depending on where we are and what everyone else is doing.
Michael Renfro 5:11
You know, it’s funny, just to kind of touch back on what you said there a minute ago, but you know, whether you believe in God, nothing God you know, your beliefs. There’s, it’s not like God says, you know, just between nine and five, I’m going to deliver you the problem. of business. And then outside of those hours, I’m going to deliver you the problems of your personal life. Right? So you don’t have, there’s some stupid show my buddy wants me to watch called severance, I think is the name of it. I don’t know if you heard about this on Apple TV, but it’s literally where they they don’t have memory. It’s we’re talking about a kind of like, when you go to work, they do their work. But they when they get back home, they have no memory of what they did at work. And vice versa. It’s like two separate people that they’re cut, once they walk through those doors at work time. And then once they leave, and that crazy, crazy thought.
Mike Panella 6:07
I don’t think there is such there is a work life. Some people like literally, like, go to work at whatever, eight, and they clock out at five. And that’s it. And that’s okay, I can’t do it. But some jobs are like that. But yeah, yes, I agree. There are jobs. If you’re a cashier at What’s there to think about when you get off work, who knows, there might be a lot of stresses, but I’m just saying that job itself, you clock in, you clock out, and the grocery stores there. And if you’re not a manager, and I work, whatever, I’m just saying that, for me. It’s it’s got to be an integration because my work and my family are both parts of me. And my faith is part of me. And guitar is something that is part of me.
Michael Renfro 6:55
And to me, they’re all happening all the time. Let’s see. It’s got to be integrated. And it’s got to be it has to be because it’s not, again, there’s no clock that says these things are going to happen here. I think criminal defense guys know that best. And what I mean by that is every time I talk to you usually extremely busy and up late, because crimes are happening all through the you know, they happen all the time at all, anytime of the day. Yeah, so everything anything can happen at any time of the day. That’s the world.
Mike Panella 7:22
Law enforcement still arrest people after five o’clock.
Michael Renfro 7:25
Oh, yeah, absolutely. So in closing, what is your favorite podcast? Or do you have a
Mike Panella 7:34
yeah, I’ve got I’ve got a couple but my absolute favorite is by Conan O’Brien needs a friend.
Michael Renfro 7:39
Got it. That’s your absolute favorite. What’s your next one? The Ramsey show? The Ramsey show and check that one out. Financial podcast. No, I get it. What’s your favorite conference as a as an attorney?
Mike Panella 7:53
National Trial Lawyers. I’m proud to be part of that organization. They do it every year in South Beach. Oh, it’s always the same place every year. It’s always been at the PSA to anybody at Intel that’s listening. It’s always been at the lows. Until last year, what was at the Bellagio or something? It was terrible. We’ve got to do it back at the lows.
Michael Renfro 8:13
You’re open. They go back. I get it.
Mike Panella 8:16
I bet you back at the lows because I don’t think I’m the only one feels this way. But yes. But here’s National Trial Lawyers is a great conference to be a part of.
Michael Renfro 8:26
Oh, yeah, no, no, no, no, I get it. I get it. I have two last questions for you. The first one is a goofy one. So what is the craziest thing that you’ve ever done?
Mike Panella 8:37
Born and raised in Florida, right. So I’ve never I had never seen snow in my life until the day after I was married because we got off an airplane. And it was 78 degrees in Orlando, on row us day. And we flew in to Jackson Hole Wyoming, where it was negative 18 and snow covered. So like a 90 Whatever, like 100 degrees swing almost or whatever. So anyway, I’m saying we’re doing all the snow stuff. We read the snowmobiles, and they had a guided toward them. Like we don’t need a guided tour. I’ve been on a wave runner, whatever. So we’re going to take these snowmobiles up to the Teton mountains. And they warned us and they said listen, if you don’t make it to the top of the mountain where there’s a lodge by two, then don’t don’t come back down. Just keep going. And if it’s after two when you get there stay because it’ll get dark by 430 and you’ll get eaten by like wild Wyoming animals. Right so like Okay, so we’re out there trying to book it on these things trying to get up to the top of the mountain. Everything’s white white white white, white like crazy white down is white ops white rounds white it’s great. I’ve never seen snow like this like snow right? Right. You’ve never experienced never serious don’t I’m just like having the time I love like rock comes my wife’s my wife of a day is behind me on a snowmobile and I’m just booking it and next thing I know I disappear because I’m going as fast as I can. And it turns out I drove the thing off of freaking cliff and I like really like it I don’t know I don’t even I don’t like trying to so I’m not expecting I just thought there was still snow up front of me. But the way the respect left was it just seemed like and I’m gone and she just sees me and then got the next thing you know, she’s screaming thinking I’m dead. I don’t know what happened. You crash did not crash I landed. What honestly seems like and this might be an exaggeration but I do not think it is 50 to 60 feet down and I’m looking up and there she is like five stories up on like where we were, and she’s like, Mike, and I’m like,
Michael Renfro 10:50
decided to try out for extreme sports. You’re like, it’s my first time. I’m gonna go extreme.
Mike Panella 10:56
I wasn’t trying to be extreme. I was. I ended. That’s, that’s crazy.
Michael Renfro 11:03
That’s crazy. All right, last but not least, here’s one just for all the other attorneys out there you know, obviously we’re hoping that a lot of attorneys will listening and get something from this but what’s your favorite tool and or software that you use and concerns to avoid?
Mike Panella 11:18
Here’s what it is. So I’ve used a bunch of things in the past and stuff that just didn’t work and pay per click and whatever else and sometimes that’s sometimes it’s not what has worked for me has been video. So high quality video, not crap video. And it has been SEO it has been taking the plunge to do Gladiator. I’m not just saying that. Fortuitously, the gladiator has been good for a couple reasons. One, because the product, you guys do a good product. That’s why I think, like I’ve been with you guys for years now. So I think that there’s there’s it’s not like I just jumped on, you asked me to a pod. Yeah, no, no, no, no, exactly. But there’s a reason and partly also because all of these other like tangential things like what am I doing with Google? What am I doing with like local service ads? Right? What are we doing with reviews, all these like other components that go into SEO? Gladiator is asked like, like you have Haley. I sent her an email like right now, I know that I sent her an email before this about something totally unrelated. I am positive that whenever we’re done with this, and I checked, you would
Michael Renfro 12:21
have they’ll be there’ll be if nothing more, she’ll at least say, Hey, I’m on it. Give me a few. And it’ll be done.
Mike Panella 12:28
I’m positive of that. Because that’s just been the way it is. So I think I think that there are cheap SEO companies. And then there are correct ones. And I don’t think Gladiator is the only one. That’s good. I think there are several. But I have had a good experience, which is why I’ve stuck with you guys. But I don’t think it’s best. I don’t think it’s just Gladiator.
Michael Renfro 12:51
No. Would you agree that it’s one of the one of the criterias, though, for a good SEO agency is that they are law specific, and are not trying to do other necessarily other practice areas or not not practice area, but other avenues, other verticals of business other plate, because I mean, the one thing that I think you’ve gotten from us, and I think you have learned, you already know that your your industry is unlike anything else, but marketing for it. On that same note is not like doing anything else. SEO on the web, it’s a completely different ballgame when you’re trying to get one of you guys. One, there is a harsh amount of competition, there’s a huge number of attorneys for every single practice area out there. Right. And they’re all trying to vie for your business. And I’ll just tell you, man, it’s not the same. There’s a lot of people that have, you know, less competition, or all you have to do is make a few posts a couple of months, you know, and next thing you know, you’re ranking. I don’t know, an attorney that comes to us that it doesn’t take us about a year, year and a half to get them where they’re trying to get to. Because it’s just such a it’s a it’s a long, drawn out game just to be transparent. It’s not like something overnight. And it’s like you said you took the punch to do it. You know,
Mike Panella 14:00
to answer your question, all I can speak to is what my prior experience has been. I did use another company that had other businesses that they were targeting and whatever else. It actually like it didn’t work. So there’s that as far as ranking. But worse, it’s sort of like I think, hurt my online reputation. Because I don’t know what they’re doing. Yeah, because the image just wasn’t wasn’t out there in a way that I would have liked it to be. And that was actually more true to me and stuff. So it was actually more of a detractor. So yeah, that’s what attracts me to Gladiator.
Michael Renfro 14:33
I’ll even go further. And I mean this whole heartedly, but once you actually get into love from marketing, one of the big things that you realise makes it so different is that you do not market a bankruptcy attorney, the same way you market a personal injury attorney, are the same way you market a family attorney, or I mean, criminal defence, I can go on and on. Every single practice area warrants a different approach, because it’s a different problem that your potential client is facing, period. And that’s, you know, no, no two practice areas are the same. No two cities are the same. And no two firms are the same. So it’s, it’s, it’s why it’s massively different. I would say probably the only thing that I’ve experienced is maybe close to it. And they just don’t do the same. You don’t doctors don’t do it like lawyers do in the sense of the marketing that that lawyers put out. And you know, what they have to do? And I mean, I say that because if you’re not, then you’re not gonna get seen. And that’s what you’ve experienced, too. If you’re not doing a certain amount, then you know, your competition your local guys, unless you have some awesome pipeline of continual criminals that just know to come to you. You know, they have to find you some way and if you’re not in the places they’re looking, then odds are you’re not going to get the call. And that’s that’s my only point is that it’s a lot. It’s a much different scope, not just different for law. It’s different for each and every practice area.
Mike Panella 15:53
I think I I think that’s right. I hope that’s right.
Michael Renfro 15:56
Oh, it is.
Mike Panella 15:58
I know that my, my online presence looks different than any actually any even any other criminal defense attorney. Ah, yeah. And I think it’s also attorney specific tip.
Michael Renfro 16:12
Well, yeah. And I think you know, I don’t know if you remember, but we were under a lot of how do I say it? When people go look at? Funnel? It’s panellalawfirm.com Right. Now law firm. Yep. So when people go look up, panellalawfirm.com. Just know that when we built this to this was right at the beginning of the shutdown, I think you signed on, like around the end of February, literally, it’s like the end of February. And then march 6 was the national shutdown. So he couldn’t get pictures. And we really had to take anything and everything that you gave us to build you that site. And quite frankly, I think it still speaks highly and not to gloat. I know that sounds probably a little glowy. But it’s not only better than all the other ones, but we kind of did it with one arm tied behind our back.
Mike Panella 16:58
Now. I’m glad you feel that way. I like it, too.
Michael Renfro 17:01
I love it. I do. I’ll just let you know. I mean, I use your site all the time when I’m talking to folks. That’s not the point. So anyway, I don’t have anything else. Those are all the questions. I wanted to thank you so much again, Mike for being with us. I know we went a little bit long. So we may I may tell them to just do this in two parts and record a little blurb to split it up. For
Mike Panella 17:25
however, whatever makes sense.
Michael Renfro 17:26
Yeah, we might do that. We’ll see. Either way, though. Thank you so much for being here. Again. I appreciate it. And you know, I’m going to come back and ask you again, probably in a year or so. No problem, man. Always good talking to you. Always good talking to you, Mike, have a great day.
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