Ann Vandersteel on SteelTruth introduces Mike by saying: “He has done an incredible amount of work. If you haven’t heard of him, you’ve probably been living under a rock and certainly not getting a good night’s sleep. He is the inventor and CEO of MyPillow. You know him as that energetic guy who wears the cobalt blue shirt with his beautiful cross sticking out and hugging his neck every single day, reminding him of who his savior is. But he’s also out there stumping for the president. And I want to draw your attention to that because there’s a little known fact that he is quite an enigma. He’s a recovering drug addict and he’s just written a book titled, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.”
“He has a multi-billion-dollar business. MyPillow, he’s on fire and it’s based out of Minnesota. He claims he’s had Divine inspiration which resulted in him building this business. His story is quite compelling for today’s drug-addicted society, from addicts living under a bridge to functional addicts moving, working and living amongst us. Mike overcame his addiction when three of his own drug dealers held an intervention. Now Mike is helping President Trump to make America great again.
Mike’s next steps in evangelizing for Trump
Amy goes on to talk about a Miami Evangelical event where Trump spoke, saying, “It is just riveting when the President gets up and speaks in front of a group of Evangelical Christians, people who believe in God. It is absolutely electrifying. I left there walking about five feet above the ground. I felt like I was closer to heaven, closer to God. And of course, President Trump always makes you feel incredibly special. There’s something about that man.”
And you have that same characteristic, Mike, which is why I am so drawn to you as a person who’s out there evangelizing, not only for the President but also for God and for recovering addicts, and really making your way.”
Mike continues to evangelize for Trump. Recently, he was with the President who said, “Mike, will you run my Minnesota campaign for me?” Mike said, “Absolutely, because I have some ideas about what we can do in Minnesota and other States.’
So Trump set up a meeting with Brad Parscale, President Trump’s reelection campaign manager, where Mike laid out the whole plan. Brad was enthused, exclaiming that “this is absolutely spot on,” which made Mike feel good.
Mike will be doing “revival rallies”
One of Mike’s plans is “going around and doing individual “revival rallies’ in 20 towns in Minnesota.” He will be talking about “my story and how I came out of addiction.” He will then explain how he “didn’t know anything about politics until he met the President.”
Mike will also tell people that “Now I’ve learned how politics plays such an important part in our daily lives.” And “tell them all, here’s what’s being done, here’s what happened so far, and how it affected you directly. It’s going to be very educational.”
Mike wants to educate people all about how “the President is being so brave at solving the problems that we’ve had for decades.” Mike wants people to not only get out and vote, but also to tell their neighbors that “if we keep this growing, things in our everyday lives are going to be so amazing.”
Mike actually did this on a small scale at a North Dakota rally for his friend Senator Kevin Cramer by telling his story about being an ex-crack addict to 3,000 people. Mike goes on to say that “I’m just an everyday person. I never voted for anything in my life. I didn’t know anything about politics, but boy oh boy are they important. Politics are probably one of the most important things because they can take us down bad paths or they can take us down good paths.”
Is Mike running for governor? He’s giving it ‘due diligence”
Mike talked to the ex-governor of Virginia who set Mike up to go to the Republican Governors Association in Washington, DC. There, Mike had meetings with the attendees so he could do due diligence before deciding if he wants to run for Minnesota’s governor.
So Mike met with people like the Governor of Iowa, the Governor of Texas, the Governor of South Carolina, and the governor of South Dakota, They all said that the hardest part is the campaign. Towards that, Mike responded that he “enjoys standing up for what’s right.”
Mike ponders, “Am I better off staying outside of politics, just getting behind the good things I know are going on, like the President? Or would I be able to change things, because Minnesota is taking a path I don’t want, such as Minneapolis having the highest unemployment in the country?”
Mike knows that he “would be able to make a difference, which means a lot to me.” So, the decision “is there, it’s sitting out there.” And meanwhile, Mike has “got a big job to do with helping the President in his campaign.
Addiction comes from childhood wounds
Mike doesn’t believe that addiction is a disease. He believes it comes from childhood wounds. And for Mike, his parents divorced when he was seven years at a time when divorces weren’t common. He was then put into a new school and was the only student from a divorced family. To compensate, Mike “would either not talk to people or I would show off.” Like, for example, he would say, “Hey, watch me climb out of this bus window and jump.’”
So many people are trying to fit in but feel they’re not good enough
Mike went to his five-year class reunion and saw that all his friends had graduated from college and had moved up the ranks. Meanwhile, Mike “had worked at a grocery store and a drive-in theater and had dropped out of the University of Minnesota in the first semester.” Plus he had “been fired at the grocery store job.”
He took over the reunion, telling them stories like driving a motorcycle to skydive and crashing the motorcycle. Then when he finally got to skydiving, his parachute didn’t open. And, the story about how he “owed the mafia $20,000 for football bets.” Everyone at the reunion went “wow, wow, wow,” which “made me feel important” and increased his self-worth because he had something to talk about.
But “I got home that night and I’m lying in bed almost in tears saying, “I really want what they have, and it was like a loneliness.” And Mike feels that “there are so many people that are trying to fit in but feel they’re not good enough because their self-worth is so low.”
Mike was a very functioning cocaine addict for 20 years
In the 1980s, Mike was introduced to cocaine and “well then I could talk your ear off” when he was high. Mike was a very functioning cocaine addict for 20 years. He raised a family and thought he had “gotten that white picket fence” with “marriage to a girl of my dreams,” but he was still an addict.
Then he switched to crack cocaine in the early 2000s. During this time, he was always an entrepreneur. When his sister broke a water bed on the third story of an apartment complex, he decided to become a carpet cleaner. He then started a lunch wagon business. He also worked on an Iowa farm for his uncle and raised pigs. He had, as Mike says, “all kinds of failures and successes, but he didn’t give up.”
Then Mike had some small-town bars (which, as Mike quips, is “not the best place for an addict”). At the bars, he “learned a lot about people from many different walks of life.”
But, if he wasn’t doing drugs, Mike was still an introvert. If a stranger came in the bar and if Mike wasn’t either high or had been drinking, he would wait on him and walk away, saying “Hey, you know, let me know if you need anything.” Mike would then “act like he was cleaning and wished they would leave because I didn’t know how to talk to people” since he felt that “you can’t get rejected if you don’t talk to people.”
Mike dives into MyPillow with “everything he had”
Mike switched to crack cocaine in the early 2000s. He ended up needing to sell the bar that he had for 13 years at the time, and it was “devastating, just like when I got fired at that grocery store way back in the day.” But, Mike looks back now and goes, “Wow, that had to happen or I wouldn’t be where I’m at now.”
Then, God gave Mike the dream of MyPillow and Mike dove in with “everything he had.” But he also had his crack addiction plus a gambling addiction.
Mike was turned down everywhere
Once Mike invented the MyPillow, he walked into box stores and told them, “I have the best pillow ever, where’s your buyer?” They just looked at him and said, “You need to leave now, sir.” Mike was turned down everywhere.
Finally, someone said, “Mike, why don’t you do a kiosk?” to which Mike answered, “how do you spell that?” Mike didn’t know anything about a kiosk. But, he mortgaged his house and took all the money they had left to do a kiosk. A kiosk was no place for an introverted person like Mike, though, and his wife at the time ended up doing most of the sales. So, the kiosk failed: they only sold 60-80 pillows and they lost $10-15,000, which was everything they had.
“This pillow changed my life”
Then, one of the people who did buy a MyPillow from the kiosk called saying, “this pillow changed my life!” He told Mike that he ran the Minneapolis Home and Garden show and asked Mike, “Would you like a spot there?” This was, as Mike says, “a Divine connection.”
Mike stood behind a table at the show, and found that, with the table in front of him, he could talk to people because he “kind of had my protected area.” The people then came back the next day saying “this pillow changed my life.” This made Mike “feel so good inside that I had done something to help someone. And that made me feel good.” And, Mike sold out of all his pillows during the show.
So, Mike started doing shows and fairs across the country and did those events for seven years.
Mike’s dealers had an intervention
During this time, though, Mike lost a 20-year marriage. His wife just couldn’t take it anymore, and she left in the middle of the night. So in 2008, Mike was all alone.
Mike was downtown Minneapolis doing crack. Three of his drug dealers approached him saying, “Mike, you’ve been up for 14 days and you’re going to bed, nobody’s gonna sell you crack anymore.”
Mike “headed out to the streets of Minneapolis at 2:30 in the morning and couldn’t buy crack anywhere.” When he went back upstairs, a dealer said, “gimme your phone. You’ve been telling us for years about this book you’re going to write, you’re going to need this picture for that book.” The dealer went on to say that “you’ve been telling us for years that this MyPillow thing is just a platform for God and that you’re going to come back and help us all someday get out of addiction, and we’re not going to let you die on us.”
The picture that the dealer took is now on the cover of Mike’s new memoir.
God sends Mike a visitor
Mike didn’t quit his addictions that day, though. The next step along his recovery path was a friend visiting him in December of 2008. This friend was “Mike’s equal.” They had both started cocaine at the same time in the 80s and had both switched to crack in the early 2000s.
His friend had been clean for 4 years and when he came walking in, Mike said, “Dick, what are you doing here?” Dick answered, “I don’t know, man. The Lord led me here.” Mike figured that as long as he was there, he had some questions for his friend, and one of the first questions he asked was, “Is it boring?” to which Dick answered, “No, man, it ain’t boring.”
Mike went on with other questions, and got answers that he respected because “Dick had been where I’ve been.”
God, I want to wake up and never have the desire again
A month later, on January 16, 2009, Mike knew that after one more day that “I would never be able to do what God called me to do.”
And so Mike prayed that night, “God, I want to wake up and never have the desire again.” And, when he woke up the next day, all of his addictions were gone. It was “just a miracle.”
Two months later, Mike “was drawn to a faith-based treatment” to find out why he was an addict in the first place. And that is where he learned that the seeds of his addictions were planted during his parent’s divorce.
Miracles kept happening
Mike had to get his business back on track and, towards that, had to borrow money to pay off “these guys that had stolen everything from me.” Mike walked into an investment meeting and told them that he “needed to borrow $30,000,” that he would “pay back $40,000 in two months,” that “I’m going to do shows,” and that “I’m going to have an infomercial someday.” He also told them that he “used to be a crack addict.”
One asked, “when did you quit crack?” And Mike answered, “last Thursday.” Four of them got up and left the room, but Mike did end up getting the money and so got his company back. And, he ended up paying them back. As Mike says, this is one of the “miracles that kept happening to me.”
Mike will “never make it on TV”
In 2011, Mike told his friends and family, “let’s pool our money and let’s make an infomercial” so we can take MyPillow “right to the people.”
Mike wanted a real audience and wanted to do the commercial personally. The producers said, “no, you need an actor and this will never work.” Mike went ahead with his plan, though. And when Mike was reading his lines, a producer said that Mike was “the worst guy I’ve ever seen. You’ll never make it on TV.”
Mike says that “he was kind of right, I was.” But then they got rid of the teleprompter and brought out a table that Mike could stand behind, and Mike was able to do the infomercial since he was in an environment similar to all the fairs and shows he had been doing.
The infomercial launched October 7th, 2011 and Mike had ten employees. Forty days later, Mike had 500 employees, and it was “the number one infomercial in December of 2011.”
All proceeds from Mike’s book will help addicts
Mike is launching his Lindell Recovery Network™ in about two months. All proceeds from his book are going towards funding this network. It’s “going to help millions of addicts with the best help ever” and it is going to employ “tens of thousands of addicts that have gotten set free.”
The Lindell Recovery Network™ is will help all addictions including alcohol, meth, cocaine, crack, porn, sex, and gambling. All the addiction help will be in the network. The network is going to concentrate on the wounds of unworthiness, depression, and anxiety that manifested from issues such as a father that wasn’t there, or a shock trauma that happened in childhood, or veterans who got traumatized later in life. Mike intends to “make it work for everybody. “
Over the last two years, Mike has spent thousands of hours researching what works for addicts. He’s also had a group of 15 people compiling all the great things in our country that’s working, including what the President is doing. So addicts will have all the information they need.
One of the things that helped Mike’s recovery network is the loosening of the regulations through Trump’s Opioid Bill. Mike says that he wants “people who want to help other people that have been there.” But there were laws that required 4 years of school before people could counsel addicts. Mike’s reaction towards this is, “Really? I’ve forgotten more about addiction than half of them will ever know. And you know, if I want somebody helping me, I want someone that’s been there and I want to know how he got set free. That’s who needs to be our counselors.”
Addicts need faith-based centers, connected to “Jesus Christ, based on God”
Mike feels that many addiction treatment centers are “preying on addicts and their families. They call addiction a disease and they don’t work.” Mike believes that addicts need to go to a faith-based center like Teen Challenge, the Salvation Army, and Union Gospel. And when Mike says faith-based, he means a faith connected to “Jesus Christ, based on God.”
And you “need to find out why you were an addict in the first place and get your heart restored.” Mike believes that “This country went down a bad path and took God out of our schools, God away from our youth, and took away the foundation of family and God. Kids don’t have anything to fall back on, they feel they don’t have any self-worth.”
Find hope through Mike’s book
As Ann says about Mike, “The work that you’re doing, it goes beyond making money. You’re actually solving problems and you’re giving people hope. You’re giving people a way forward. You’re giving them their lives back and you’re giving them a heck of a good night’s sleep.”
You can find hope by reading Mike’s book, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO, and then find your way forward.