32. Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney – Creating a Unique Selling Proposition, Multi-Channel Marketing, and Being Authentic

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In this episode of The Rankings Podcast, host Chris Dreyer chats with Michael T. Gibson, president and lead attorney at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, about his journey toward marketing success. Michael discusses how he discovered his unique niche, the strategies he uses to dominate a saturated market, and why staying authentic to yourself is the best thing you can do for your brand. Stay tuned.

Transcript

Prologue

Welcome to The Rankings Podcast where we feature top founders, entrepreneurs and elite personal injury attorneys and share their inspiring stories. Now let’s get started with the show.

Chris Dreyer

Chris Dreyer here, CEO and Founder of Rankings.io where we help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first page rankings. You’re listening to The Rankings Podcast where I feature top business owners, entrepreneurs and elite personal injury attorneys. Speaking of elite personal injury attorneys, I have Michael T. Gibson on the show today. Michael is the President and Lead Attorney at Michael T. Gibson, Auto Justice Attorney, a personal injury firm based in Orlando, Florida. Michael is the proverbial self-made man not only putting himself through college in law school but having done so motivate motivated by seeing the suffering of those closest to him due to another’s negligence with an emphasis on catastrophic and life altering accidents, he has spent his career advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves, whether it’s against insurance companies, hospitals or nursing homes. Michael, welcome to the show.

Michael T. Gibson

Thanks, Chris. Great to be here and just want to say I hope everybody listening and you and your yours are healthy and safe during this time.

Chris Dreyer

It’s crazy times it’s right when you think it’s going to go back to normal there’s more cases and yeah, I really appreciate that. Especially you being in Florida. It’s just been insane.

Michael T. Gibson

We like to be number one in things.

Chris Dreyer

So let’s, let’s, uh, let’s take it back. Let’s take it back to the beginning. You know, where did your legal career start? How did you get started in it as an attorney?

Michael T. Gibson

Yeah, it all starts 20 years ago this December, my mom was catastrophically injured in a car wreck. You know, at the time she was a single mom, we were what you would call poor or lower class. And I watched the next couple years an insurance company just try to string us out to get us to take the lowest amount possible. And, you know, in my house at the time I was in college, that was the difference between food on the table, that was the difference between having your lights on. And, you know, it kind of set this passion in me that I really did not like. How the insurance companies treated my family. I took it personally. At the time I was kind of floundering through law through college. My band was probably more important to me than school at that time. But uh, you know, I was a really good writer, I always had a gift for arguing with people and most everyone in my family does. And I saw an area where, you know, the lawyer, my mom had really made a difference for us, and it was convincing her to fight the fight. And eventually she got paid which everything should could be paid. That helped pay for surgeries that kept our lights on that kept me in School. So it became extremely personal. And I was somebody who decided at that point in time that I was going to get college right get into law school. And I think a lot of people go to law school, they don’t know exactly what they want to do. They know they want to be a lawyer. They know they want to make some money. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. And I knew exactly who I wanted to do it for. While I was in college, my last year right before law school, I was very fortunate to get a job with what ended up being my former law firm. And what was great about that experience was if you were doer, they let you do so I went from literally taking out the trash my first couple days to being their head trial system within a few months. And I got to see about 30 jury trials before I was a lawyer. And you know, that experience was invaluable because when I got out of law school and got licensed, I knew what I was doing in a courtroom. I knew what I was doing in negotiating with An insurance company. And, you know, I jumped in at a very, very young age 26 years old, into our biggest cases, multi million dollar, you know, death medical malpractice brain injury cases. And yeah, I took my lumps against some very good defense lawyers. But you know, that experience really accelerated my career. And it was part of the reason why it just 30 years old, I was able to start my firm and you know, here we are. 11 years later, we’ve done I think fairly well, we’ve helped thousands of families here in Florida. And, you know, again, it’s really I think, what makes my story unique, is I’m a lawyer that can relate to what my clients are going through, because I’ve been through it myself. So you know, I think that’s tough. Sometimes law school does not train you for that. But I know that experience, I know what it’s like to live really have your life on the line and in the cases I handle.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, there’s so much there. And I’d say that that experience, it allows you to relate, it allows you to connect, I’m sure, you know, from a marketing perspective, it helps but just being able to deal with the individuals that come into your office when you’re speaking to them, I’m sure they feel that you can relate to them. The other thing is, you know, you said floundering through college. That’s kind of how I felt I had a history education degree and somehow ended up as a digital marketer. I but you know, having being intentional, that had been a huge competitive advantage, even in law school, because you knew the path you were going to go on. So when there was a particular lecture or professor, whoever they came in, you probably just laser focused in on them. Right. The so So you mentioned you know, you have this great experience. You got to try it. You know, you went from like hadn’t taken out the trash two in a couple months. So what were what was it that you were doing that that gave you that opportunity? Were you just jumping in and helping the other attorneys and they exalt like how? Let’s two months. I mean, that’s a huge transition.

Michael T. Gibson

Yeah. I mean, there’s a story behind that. My third day there, I didn’t even have a desk, I had a box and a chair. And I was just organizing some records, you know, honestly had no idea what I was doing. And the gentleman that I set by just kind of ups and quits, and he’s working on this malpractice case, and there’s big demand letter do and so I just took a seat and worked on it and turned it in. And about two days later was a Friday I got a call down to one of the partners office and all four of them were there. And I remember walking in and seeing them and going okay, here’s where I get fired. And, you know, they asked me to Did you do this? And I said, Yes. And they asked why and I said well You know, this guy was gone, and it needed to get done. And, you know, they proceeded to praise the work and tell me what they thought of it. And I remember that moment crystal clear because literally, I had no idea what I was doing. I sat there for two days and nights just studying everything I could about the case and, you know, reading former demand letters and putting together the best I could and, and really, from that moment on, it just took off. You know, the message there that I try to teach younger kids in college and law school is beware of your opportunity. You know, for me, you know, again, I didn’t grow up with lawyers and family, I didn’t grow up with an uncle that I was able to take a business over for something like that. And I saw that job is my opportunity. It was an opportunity to get out of what I know and have life up to that point and do something and to create a better life for you know, the people are going to follow me, my kids, my brother’s kids, etc, etc. So and that’s really hard and you You’re 22 or 23 or 21 years old to understand, but I knew very clearly that that was my opportunity. And it was up to me what I did with it. So when I saw an opening, I ran through that door. And, you know, if I had to pick one moment in my career, where I think it’s set the trajectory for what’s to come, it was that moment.

Chris Dreyer

That that’s so incredible, because you know, a lot of people think that, you know, it’s gonna take time, and there’s not going to be these opportunities, but you just seize it. Because at the end of the day, law firms a business and things have to be done. And they had that challenge. They’re the partners were probably thinking, like, how are we going to get this accomplished? And then you turn that in, and they’re like, Oh, we have someone internal that can do this. That made their lives a lot easier.

Michael T. Gibson

Yeah, I got a lot more assignments after that. And yeah, I’m sure. You know, I just tried to carry that forward. I mean, all through law school when I was an intern. You know, I We had we got into some drug defect cases. And that was new to us. And, you know, a couple people had tried it. Nobody really figured out I spent one summer just designing the protocol and figuring out how we do it. And that was Hurricane Katrina. So the courthouse that we filed them in got wiped out, I had to go back and redo it to a different courthouse. But, you know, again, I think every law firm and I can relate to this now, as a law firm owner, we’re looking for dealers. Okay, I know, I don’t when you come in to interview, I don’t really care where you went to law school, I don’t really care. You know, yeah, it’s great. If you’ve tried cases, and you have experienced, but I’m looking for somebody that if I have a problem that needs solving, can help me solve the problem. And, you know, can can help me carry the football down the field, so to say so, you know, there, there’s tremendous opportunity there. You don’t have to be number one in your class. You just have to have initiative. You just have to show that you’re willing to do what it takes.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s interesting that you say that because on some of these interviews, I hear the same thing that grit that get shit done that something, you know somebody that’s empowered that can take direction. Let’s um you know you had you had this experience and you’re working at a larger law firm and you’re, what was the moment you’re like, Okay, now it’s time I’m going to start my own firm. What was that like?

Michael T. Gibson

Well, I married I met my wife at the firm actually. I never thought I’d be the guy who goes to the firm Christmas party and you know falls in love with one of them but it happened. She worked a different office and Jen is super smart, super talented. She’s the best at what she does best I’ve ever seen. I always joke that the only reason you’re talking to me today and not her I have any power is she was smart enough to leave law school before you know she went too far. But as far as, you know, a person who creates systems for law firms as far as being an elite paralegal, she’s right at the top. And, you know, it sucks for me because she’s better looking too. But uh, and if you ever see our TV ads, you know, I was the wisest choice I ever made was to make her and my kids to star the show and not me. But, you know, we met we kind of knew that the gates to the kingdom were closed and our firm. I kind of was pigeon holed in the med mal world. Yeah, pigeonholed in the med mal world. That involves a lot of airplanes every day. I would leave on Mondays and sometimes not come back till Saturday. We got to Right now with our first child in 2009, and I just I had seen the way the guys in the auto world lived, you know, they could go to Little League practice at night and their marriages look good. And, you know, on the outside, it was a little bit rougher. So, you know, I made a life decision that I needed to get, you know, into a firm and into a lifestyle that would accommodate a family. And you know, Janna just on auto work, I kind of learned it from her. And I thought, well, I’ve been trying them out drones, I can probably handle auto trials. And, you know, so we, we decided very early in that pregnancy that it was time she actually was the one who made the decision and told me it was time. And she’s right. If I didn’t go then I don’t think I ever would have left. You know, we had a very secure lifestyle and, you know, I would have probably sacrificed my dream for my family. And look 2009 was about as scary as it gets and opening a business. Okay, first time I went to the bank to get a loan, I learned real quickly that we were in a different time, man. But uh, you know, we did it, we had a pretty good plan. Honestly, a lot of it was luck and hard work. And, you know, early in the firm I went through I had a partner when I originally went out and about a year later, he divorced me. And, you know, the one thing I didn’t really count on when I left to join or start a firm was being the guy running the firm. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I didn’t want to do with money or really marketing, I just want to go be a lawyer. And I learned through that partnership split that number one, I could run it. Number two, I could run it better than what I thought I could. And number three, that you know, if I was going to do this, it had to be me. And obviously, my wife is a big voice in my ear and you know, even She’s, she can’t be a partner because she’s not a lawyer, you know, she ever leaves me she gets half. So that’s pretty, that’s pretty good for me in terms of partners. So, you know, she had a fundamental and instrumental role in helping me build the place. And, you know, here we are today, we’re 11 years later, you know, we started the place with four employees, we have 23 today. You know, and, God, there’s been a lot of a lot of lessons, a lot of mistakes. But, you know, I think once you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, that you’re going to make mistakes, that those mistakes are going to cost you probably more money than you dreamed. You know, you as long as you give yourself the entitlement to learn from them, and to get better from them. You know, you find you can do it. And, I mean, this market that I’m in, by some estimates is the toughest market in the country. It’s Definitely one of the top three. And, you know, I’ve always, I think what’s enabled me to survive and that is, I’m a grinder, you know, I just refuse to accept that there’s not a place for a firm like us. And, you know, look, we’ve got two really large Goliath law firms here in my backyard. If I, you know, when I turn on the TV, and we do a fair amount of TV advertising, you know, they’re running 10 ads for every one that I run. So if I judge success, just based on that I, you know, my perspective Win Win be very good. But I’ve learned that being successful in the law firms kind of like playing golf. Okay, I’m no great golfer, but when I go out and I just swing the club and play against myself, I print I play pretty close to what I am, you know, I can break 100 I’m in the 90 somewhere on a good day. It’s lower 90s better Bad Day, it’s a couple foot wedges, it’s you know, right below 100. When I go out, and I’m playing against a buddy, and I want to beat him, I played terrible. So, you know, I always try to play against myself, what I’ve done, what I think we should be doing, what the metrics are telling me where we’re at. And, you know, when I keep it confined to that, we do very well. So, you know, I think that’s an area where law firm owners, you got to play golf, play golf against yourself, because if you start looking at everyone else, you’re I think your perspective gets skewed.

Chris Dreyer

I think that’s a great perspective and strategy too, because if you’re also just monitoring your competition all the time, you’re lagging behind them, you’re not innovating and doing things that maybe could be on the forefront. And, you know, so you kind of led me down this so we’ll start first with the mission. stakes, and then we’ll go to the what it takes to be successful. So are there any mistakes that come to mind that ended up being, you know, great learning experiences? I, you know, as you as you grow a business, whether it’s hiring or process or trial workers, or any of that come to mind that ended up being a good learning experience?

Michael T. Gibson

Yeah, I mean, you know, for me, the biggest learning curve has been being a marketer. In the beginning, my practice was all referral based. And I started advertising because I got a call from my accountant in 2010. You know, asking me if I knew how taxes work, and I had no, I never paid taxes before. So no. And she said, Well, you got to start losing some of this money. And I was, well, how do you do that? And she goes, Well, you could advertise. And I called the cable TV network and said, hey, let’s make a commercial. You know, if I could go back, I probably would have wrote the referral thing a little longer. I would have started the marketing with a better plan than I had, which at the time was okay, I need to do something. And I am the furthest thing from a patient guy you’ll ever meet. So once I got into marketing the firm, I was an addict. And I really, you know, I spent about three years trying to find a niche to dominate. So TV at the time was was pretty saturated, pretty expensive. So I tried to saturate radio, and then I tried to saturate the web and then billboards. And you know, what I learned through that process was, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. You know, if you’re going to be in the personal injury game in a market like this, you got to have multiple buckets. They got to be well funded, and they got to be continuously in motion. You also got to track everything. You know, I’ve developed kind of my own internal analytics. I’m a hockey player and a hockey guy. So some of it sounds like hockey terms, like we use something called plus minus, which is from hockey. And, you know, again, my firm’s kind of gone in these five year cycles. And the first five years was kind of exactly what I just described, you know, try and dominate something and see if that would work. Over the course of the last five years, we’ve gotten a lot better at being diversified. And what we found is then we do have some pockets that were much better in. And, you know, that kind of leads me to this period where and right now we’ve spent the COVID period, the last four months kind of just retooling and re tweaking and sharpening the saw on every asset and our marketing component. And what we’re finding is it you know, we started doing it because we were worried what was going to happen, and now it’s leading us to believe that not only will it Endor endures through this challenge, but it will set us up for that next five years of success that We want to achieve. So that part was hard because, you know, again, they don’t teach you marketing in law school. I took a law office management class, they didn’t teach that at all. And even back then I knew you had to market the firm. And I wasn’t one of those. I remember having to fight with a professor about advertising. You know, he was one of the old guard, you shouldn’t do that. And I was, well, you’re not going to survive if you don’t. And, you know, we’ve built a very unique TV campaign. I started, you know, my frustration was almost every lawyer ad looked the same, and how do I, you know, create something that, you know, in 30 seconds tells, as you can tell, I can’t talk in 32nd increments. Okay. So, you know, how do I create an ad that conveys a message of who I am, what I’m about and why you should consider us over these 10 other guys you just saw on this commercial break, and you know that that took a long time. When when you call a TV station, they’re going to write you the standard lawyer script. And even very good TV writers, they’re going to write you, you know, they’re going to say you have to say accident injure phone number. I kind of went outside the box like way outside the box. And I, you know, we built our whole messaging around what truly my firm starred on, which is basis of family. And I did that because I want my clients to understand that, you know, hey, this law firms about getting you back to your family, taking care of your family, and your family’s darkest hour hour of need. We’re here to help and I couldn’t think the thing that I’m most proud of in my life is my family. So and like I said, they’re much better looking than me. So we built a whole ad campaign. That’s more around my family than anything with with accident injury, or we’re going to get you a lot of money.

Chris Dreyer

It’s, there’s so many nuggets there. So the first thing you You’re choosing these specific channels and trying to dominate them. And now you’re doing like more of a multi channel approach. And I’m sure what you’ve seen too is when you do the multi channel, then one of the other channels probably performs better than what it would on its own. The other thing that I want to ask about is because I love the unique selling proposition and just the mindset, they’re like, how are you going to stand out in a saturated world? So it kind of leads me down this other niching path that I’m about to ask you, you know, we’re a not just an SEO agency. We’re a personal injury lawyer SEO agency and so it’s like this hyper niche and for you, you also position yourself as the auto justice attorney you know why Why did you take that is it is that another similar situation where it was a saturated and you’re trying to, you know, carve out the landscape there. What took you down that path as well.

Michael T. Gibson

Honestly, I came up with a name in law school. Just it was something that stuck in my mind. It was something that I thought at the time, I think it was the Aaj or someone did a seminar about naming. And everybody you know, don’t use lawyer use attorney, don’t say trial lawyer say civil justice warrior. And I listened to that and I didn’t really like, you know, civil justice warrior or any of that. But, you know, my firm I envisioned a firm that was highly specialized in niche like you’re talking about, that took a specific subcategory in the personal injury market and could handle everything from a fender bender to your catastrophic, multimillion dollar trucking case. And honestly, that name just stuck. And I asked my brother in law, who’s his brother in law as an artist, I said, Hey, draw me a logo for this. And he came out with that logo. It looks like a Corvette built into the name and I’m a big orange guy. I don’t know why I bought an orange tie once and the color just stuck with me, orange black. And that, you know, once that was incorporated in there, that was it. And, you know, no matter what you do, whether it’s your name or your niche, you got to build a brand. There’s a great quote in the movie American Gangster where Denzel Washington’s talking about how his heroines like Pepsi, it’s a brand and you know, that’s, that’s stuck with me from a marketing perspective. You have to build a brand. You know, my brand locally. It could be my name, it could be the auto justice attorney moniker. But mostly it’s associated with family, you know, and what we find is when we, we actually did an extensive market survey last December, hired a company did it through a TV station, and we only have about 20% of the market that’s familiar with it, but I’m actually ahead of my old firm in that that stood out to me. And the second thing that stood out was amongst the firm, the surveys, even the firms that way up ranked us, we had the highest client satisfaction levels, they associated with client satisfaction they associated with family. And, you know, so that was an indicator to me that we’ve done a good job in building that brand. And, you know, something I always tell the staff in our staff meetings is, look, yes, it’s my name, but it’s us. It’s not me, you know, you are as much a part of that name as I am. And, you know, so I definitely think that’s something that any lawyer of any size firm in any market, ultra competitive or smaller market. You know, you have to think like Denzel said, you have to build a brand like Pepsi. You know, when they say that name, it’s associated with something and yes, things as much as colors and the name you put on it, are as much a part of that as your deliverables. So You know, again, I wish there was a greater story as to how I did it or, or I could say, Hey, man, I knew that would be an SEO trick, but I didn’t, I just liked it. I thought it was catchy, thought it was memorable. And it stuck. So, you know, and again, associated with colors associated with logo, things that’ll help you go pretty far with that.

Chris Dreyer

I think I was reading a book, I think it was by Alan Weiss and he talked about the greater the brands, the more trust there is to so when you have this consistency with the colors and you’re just being who you are, you’re your own, you know, your family guy and you have your family on the show. It just lends itself to trust. Do you have customers come in or prospective clients come in and say, Hey, I saw your, your commercial with your kids and And is that something that’s pretty frequent?

Michael T. Gibson

We get stopped all the time. You know, in fact, during this covid time period, you know, right Right around lunchtime every day, we walk our dog, and we get stopped in the neighborhood. There’s a couple houses under construction workers will stop us and talk about the ads. So it’s definitely effective. I mean, I’ve always, you know, wondered, as a parent, sometimes I’m like, Okay, I’ve got my kids on TV, how long am I going to do that? Is that the best thing for them? And then I remember I got to pay for their college and I don’t, I don’t feel so bad. So, um, you know, again, for me, it was something different. It was a different direction than what was being done. I’ve seen other firms start to do this even in other markets now. And, you know, kind of reminds me of a quote from John Morgan. You know, John Morgan, talks about other AI lawyers advertising says, Well, I think it’s great because people just think of me, I’m number one. So when I see other people now doing the family message or putting their kids in an ad, I go, Okay, then that’s going to trigger us. They’re going to think of us We were the first to do it. But again, you know, that’s that’s one decision that was definitely against the grain and against the norm. I can’t tell you how many marketing consultants and ad people told me that this was going to bomb. And, you know, here I am seven, eight years into it. And I think it’s been a pretty successful campaign. And it’s definitely improved our brand. It’s definitely given us a brand Association. And, you know, what we find is that, you know, again, clients come in and we interview them about how they know of us, they’re usually pointing to three sources. They’re pointing probably to somewhere in the internet, the point probably to the TV ads, and then they’ve usually met someone who’s had an experience with us. So you know, I like to triangulate. And if you’re seeing triangulation, I think it’s a good indicator that a you’ve got good marketing out there. And you’ve done a good enough job and saturation that people are hearing about you in multiple times.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I completely agree. And I think you’ve carved out that space. I mean, that’s who you are. And I think it lends itself to more trust. So I agree. I think it’s, it’s, it’s tremendous. And just to find that because standing out in such a saturated, you know, world, it’s it’s difficult. So let’s shift to, you know, personal development, I like to ask just a couple questions. So are there any business books that you personally recommend?

Michael T. Gibson

Yeah, that the best one that I’ve read is The E-Myth Attorney. You know, and it takes the concepts in the e-myth, and I think really distills it down to law firms. And, you know, I read that book at a time in my career when I was struggling being everything to everyone in the firm, clients, staff, myself, and that kind of taught me the importance of developing people underneath me that could deliver the experience and the results that I wanted for the cases and You know, that’s something over the last five, six years, we’ve done a much better job of it to the point where most of the day to day cases go through my other attorneys. I’ve been blessed. last couple years, Jen and I kind of formed our own little firm within the firm, and we handle the, you know, the catastrophic and wrongful death cases. And it’s allowed us to put our attention there and really focus on delivering a top notch experience for those clients. And you know, and I never would have been able to do that if I didn’t have talented lawyers underneath me, that can match the experience we built and delivered on the standard auto NPI cases. It’s tough to do a lot of lawyers. We’re perfectionist, we believe, inherently that we can do better than someone else. Honestly, that any coaching book will probably help you tremendously. I’m a big sports guy. I love hockey. I grew up playing football, you know, go to the sports section. Pick up a Vince Lombardi book pick up a John Wooden book. The Psychology of coaching, I think is a lot like the psychology of being a CEO or law firm manager. And, you know, I spent a season being an assistant football coach under my old high school football coach. And what that experience taught me was, you know, he, he gave us the power to coach the players. Okay, he told us what he expected. He told us what the you know, standards for the program were, and as long as you stayed within those bounds, you got to coach and I think so much of running a law firm is coaching, whether it’s whether it’s a staff member, whether it’s a lawyer, your receptionist, and coaching is communication. And coaching is making them understand that you understand where they are, you can you can objectively tell them, what they do great, what they need to be better at, what you’re looking for. And you know what I took The coaching mindset I got a lot better at making clear to my staff what my expectations were and the bounds of discretion I was going to give them as long as they stay within the same. So, you know, pick a coaching book pick it up. I recently read Grit. That was a pretty good book. And I read Shoe Dog as well, which is the Phil Knight story, which I thought was pretty, you know, from where Phil Knight started with Nike to where he took a you know, that’ll fire you up.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, yeah. So so so many great books there. I’ve read E-MythRevisited, you know, the technician, manager and an owner excellent book, The other Shoe Dog. Yeah, you get to see the you get to hear about the struggles and it wasn’t all Oh, this a it’s Nike but he actually had some tough, tough licks in there. And you took me down a rabbit hole for sports. And I just want to stay here for just a second because my mind’s is going all over the place. You know, you got your playbook, which is like an operations manual, you’ve got your special teams, which is your Associate Program, you have, you know, Mike Chesky for Duke, and I’m not a Duke fan, I just want to make that clear. But every single year almost all of all five of his players leaves and he has to bring five new talented people in. So it kind of reinforces the importance of recruiting and I 100% agree there’s just so many you know, you don’t take a catcher and put them in centerfield. They wouldn’t succeed, you know, right, you know, right player right seats, but those are just phenomenal recommendations to look at the coaching books because most of us just always turn to business books. Sure. You know, things like that. Um, what about mentors and influences of yours?

Michael T. Gibson

Great question. My past bosses had a huge influence on me. And the reason why there were four partners there, one ran the firm one ran the marketing To really the legal technicians, so seeing and watching them for about eight years and how each of them really dug in and what they were great at. And as a whole made that firm, great. And, you know, knowing that if I went on my own, I have to be all for one, trying to learn as much as I could from each of them about their specific specialty within the firm. You know, so they had a huge influence I just mentioned, my high school football coach, Coach Davis had a huge influence on me because again, he got, you know, 30 kids at a private school who had no business winning, winning, and how did he do that? And just, you know, being on the team and the multiple personalities that we had, you know, and of course, every player thinks they’re the best. And, you know, again, I had a point my football career where, you know, he had a pretty candid conversation with me about what my role on the team was, and as you can tell I’m not, you know, huge So, you know, he kind of put me in a in a compartmental role on special teams. And I was frustrated because I was a senior, I’ve worked my butt off for three years, you know, lifting weights everyday running, thought through a surgery. And you know, it’s your senior year you want to start you want to play and you know, that convert the conversation when something like Gibson one day, you’re going to be the best at something. He’s like, I have no doubt, but football is in it. And you know, you can stay and accept your role on this team or if you can’t do that you can go and you know, I remember walking into that office and thinking that’s the worst. Pick me up talk I’ve ever heard. But I went to my locker, put my pads on and accepted my role. And honestly, that was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I wasn’t a star player. I made 11 solo tackles on you know, kicks. That year. But you know, I, there’s a couple of those that really helped us. We won the first district championship in school history. And for the rest of my life, when I go back and I walk in that locker room, I’m a part of that group. And, you know, so he had a huge influence on me. And that’s why years later, I went back to learn from him again. Because again, in my life, that’s probably the most telling experience I saw of him getting 60 something individuals to bind together and achieve the same thing. So those would probably be my biggest influences. There’s several people even within my own firm that that I, I’ve tried to learn from, and, you know, I think smart people, whether you’re a business person or not, you know, in every relationship, you can, I try to be quiet when I first meet somebody and just let them talk. Because if you let them talk enough, they’ll tell you who they are. And you know, you pick Pick up little nuggets that you can take and apply to your own life. So I’m always listening. I’m always paying attention to what others in the industry are doing. Some of it I like and say, Well, you know, how could we use that? others? I’m like, that’s not me. I couldn’t pull that off. And, you know, be yourself but at the same time, you know, have an open mind and have your eyes open and learn from others.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I think that’s great, great advice for anyone in an in any career path. You know, Michael, so I’ve got one final question here. Is there anything that you want to talk about that we haven’t discussed?

Michael T. Gibson

Oh, man, we can cover any conversation with me. I just, you know, you talked about those rabbit holes, I’ll send you down. I think the message that, you know, I would convey to others, and this is whether you want to be a divorce lawyer, you know, personal injury lawyer, criminal lawyer, you know, find your niche Your space. And, you know, be honest with yourself about who you are. You know where I’m at in my career, I constantly have outsiders asking me if I’m going to, you know, try to be one of the two biggest or three biggest firms in this market. And, you know, I’m flattered that they, they think there’s possibility I could do that. But I know in my heart that isn’t me. You know, those, I always tell people that those firms are the Yankees and the Red Sox and on the Tampa Rays, okay, temporary is when a lot of games and don’t spend half the money that those other teams do. And they’re very happy with the way they do things. Were and that’s how I feel about my firm. You know, we, I always say there’s a slogan I’ve used which is we’re not trying to be everybody’s lawyer here. But for the people who choose us, we’re going to be the best lawyer, they can imagine hat and, you know, again, that’s hard. I think we’re We’re in a business where market share and ad share and who’s doing what are spending what, you know, you can get lost in consuming those ideas. And it’s very easy to fall down the trail of, well, let me just try to catch that guy. And I look at that, like the dog chasing his tail, you you’re gonna make a lot of money, but by time you get done spending it, you’re you’re not gonna take home a lot more money. And, you know, they’re probably points in my career where I didn’t necessarily know that trajectory. And that’s that led to you know, bad staff hires or bad attorney hires. And when I went back and you know, sort of autopsy those decisions, it led to make this happen because you deviated from who you are. So, you know, it’s, I think one of the hardest things in life versus to get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and be honest with yourself about who you are, everybody, you know, wish They were a little better looking or a little richer or more muscular or whatever. And you can do things about that you can work out, you can, you know, you can work harder and try to make more money, but really look in the mirror and accept you for you, and try to be the best of what you are. And that’s something you know, I’m at a point in my life in my career where I’m pretty good with who I am. I know what I’m trying to do. I don’t apologize for it. I don’t make excuses for it. You know, there might be some times where people think I’m overconfident about it, but it’s just I’ve been battle tested in this. I know in my core who I am and what I’m trying to be out there. And yeah, I go through the daily exercise as well of, you know, Mike, stay in your lane. Don’t Don’t go after something that’s, you know, you don’t necessarily need and at the end of the day, you know, we still Service, well over 1300 clients a year. You know, if you read, the majority of our reviews are outstanding, And that, to me is where, you know, I find whether or not I’m meeting the purpose that I set out to me, you’re not going to make everybody happy 100% ain’t gonna happen. But if you can look at that, and objectively, you know, you see that more people that are happy with what you’re doing and the service you’re providing. And for me, it’s that they see that our firms going out of their way to try to help them and their family get their life back. That’s all you can ask for.

Chris Dreyer

And I completely agree, I think one of the challenges is trying to figure out who you are. And I think even from the early days when you had those situations happen with your mother, you know, made a really an intentional path. And I completely agree and you got to carve out your own space. You have to you know, be you and that’s why the family thing is work for you. Your Family Guy and it comes across naturally and not forced. Guys, we’ve been talking to elite personal injury attorney, Michael Gibson, Michael, where can people learn more about you?

Michael T. Gibson

Well, we got our great website, autojusticeattorney.com. And if you google me, we got we got stuff everywhere. You know, if you’re in the Orlando market, hopefully you see us on TV. But you know, there’s plenty on the web about us. And, you know, feel free to email me if anybody has questions. I’m happy to answer. I’m pretty connected to the email all day every day. And you know, Chris, I really appreciate the opportunity to come on and talk a little bit.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I thank you so much for coming on the show, Michael.

Michael T. Gibson

All right. Hey, well, you too.

Conclusion

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