VB interviewed Mike “because he’s the CEO and owner of MyPillow (and I love MyPillow), plus Mike is tied in with the Trump campaign, he’s lived a crazy life, and he always has interesting stories.” And now, Mike has all of those interesting stories in his new book, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.
VB bought a copy of Mike’s book and he “can’t believe the story that Mike has to tell.” He did know of “Mike’s rags to riches story with Mike at the depths of hell and how Mike ascended to great heights.” But he “couldn’t believe the actual depths” that Mike was in and “for how long.”
Masking pain and false courage
Mike goes on to talk about his addictions. He doesn’t believe that addiction is a disease. He believes it comes from childhood. In Mike’s case, it came from his parent’s divorce when Mike was seven years old. Mike got put into a new school and couldn’t fit in. So, he either wouldn’t talk to people, or he would show off, like jumping out of a window of a moving bus.
When Mike got into cocaine, he found it “masked pain” and gave him “false courage.” For example, he ran a bar for 13 years, and if somebody came in when he wasn’t high, Mike would serve him and just say “let me know if you need anything else” and walk away, hoping he “wouldn’t have to talk to him.” When he was high, it was vastly different. So for Mike, the drugs were a crutch for his low self-esteem.
A book that will give people hope
Mike spent seven years writing his book. It’s not a book about somebody in the streets with addictions. For, he was never on the streets. As he says, “Addictions hurt everybody, no matter how many forks they eat with.”
The book is going to “give people so much hope.” He’s launching his Lindell Recovery Network nation-wide soon, and the proceeds from his book will help fund the network. Mike has always been about helping people and “God has given a platform to give back.”
Mike has now come full circle. His drug dealers actually did an intervention with him when he was up for 14 days. And now he’s able to give back to these dealers, as they have jobs in MyPillow. And, he can give back to all addicts with his Lindell Recovery Network.
Mike “should have been dead 10 or 15 times over”
VB says that Mike has had “a ton of crazy experiences.” He then reads the prologue of Mike’s book as an example:
I remember the moment and the exact scene. My wife and teenage son sat in the living room cheerfully at work on the family business, boxes and labels scattered around. They were yakking away about this and that as they hand-labeled MyPillow shipping boxes with magic markers. It was February 2007, but all the hidden stuff, alcohol and drugs, were taking their toll. I was heavily into gambling, I owed my bookie $45,000. Everything was about to come crashing down and my family didn’t even know it.
Then VB exclaims, “That’s just the start!”
Mike mentioned that he was married for 20 years, and his ex-wife actually read the book 3 times. She said, “I had no idea what you tried to hide from me.” For, Mike did not want the family to know that “everything was going to come crashing down.”
VB remarks that Mike “should’ve been dead 10 or 15 times over.” And that Mike was “in positions where if one little thing went a different way,” Mike was “going to be killed.”
Mike replies that it wasn’t “just the guns to my head and the sword to my throat.” Far earlier, at Mike’s five-year class reunion, he basically took over the event with his death-defying stories. For example, when he was 17 years old, he was going skydiving and, on the way, fell asleep on a motorcycle and crashed it. He survived the crash and was able to skydive, but then his parachute didn’t open. In another story, he talks about “getting 17 traffic tickets in two days outrunning the cops.” Through all of these adventures, Mike says that “God protected me.”
In the book, Mike has pictures of items that he saved from the experiences that he went through. For example in 1979, when Mike was 18, he was working at a grocery store and he owed the mafia $20,000 for football bets. They came to Mike’s trailer and, after banging on the door, left a note saying, “pay by tonight or things are going to get very physical.” Mike kept that note, knowing that he was going to write a book someday, and would want to include mementos of these types of experiences.
Mike looks at all he lived through and realizes that there was a one in a million chance that all of his experiences would happen. And when he adds up all of the one in a million chances he has had, he says that he has to say, “wow that’s a miracle.”
Trials, tribulations, failures – and success
VB mentioned that people say about Mike, “Oh, that’s the guy who got lucky with the MyPillow thing.” But he went on to say that when you read his book, you will realize that Mike didn’t “get lucky with this pillow thing.” He goes on to tell Mike that “It’s unbelievable. You had trials, tribulations, failures, and many “oh my God is this ever going to work” moments. The struggle was unreal with you.”
Mike said that the book “is going to show people a lot of hope.” Mike got into crack in the early 2000s and during that time, invented his MyPillow (it took about a year to invent). But, when he tried to sell the pillow, he “was turned down everywhere.” On January 16, 2009, when Mike quit all of his addictions, he “had lost everything.” But he “never gave up hope.”
In 2011, Mike pooled money with friends and family and put together his first infomercial. When Mike went to film it, Mike’s unworthiness popped up again, and he couldn’t talk. In fact, the night before they were going to film the infomercial, one of the producers texted the other producer saying, “This is the worst guy I’ve ever seen, why did you even invite me here?”
The next day, it took Mike over an hour just to say a few lines from the teleprompter. So, they brought out a table that Mike could stand behind and threw away the teleprompter. Then, Mike “spoke naturally,” as he was in the environment he was used to when he sold his pillows at shows. The infomercial aired in October 2011. Mike had 10 employees when it aired, and 40 days later, he had 500 employees. As Mike says “God had his hand in all of this.”
This is a miracle, Jesus is real!
Mike said he “Didn’t know anything about politics.” In fact, he claims that he “didn’t even know a liberal from a conservative.” All he knew was that “when he came out of addiction, all of his friends were unemployed and were losing their houses, and I said ‘what happened?'”
Then in 2016, Donald Trump invited Mike to Trump Tower for a private meeting. Mike met with him for a half-hour, talking to him about his addictions and how he wanted to help addicts. Trump talked about how he wanted to bring jobs back, and how he wanted products made in America.
Trump later invited Mike to the Made in America Summit at the White House where Mike sat right next to Trump. This was shown on national TV, which caused all of his friends to exclaim, “There is no way this crack addict is sitting next to the President of the United States. This is a miracle, Jesus is real!”
Mike was able to give his friends an example that you could quit, get off addictions, and succeed. In fact, every single one of Mike’s friends that were on crack has quit.
“It’s just giving people hope,” and Mike believes that’s what the book will do. “People will know, after reading the book, that there is hope.”
As VB says, “Mike, you were able to write about what you did and all the things that happened in your life. And then you were able to turn it into a redemption story that ends with you meeting the president. It’s a fantastic job, I tip my hat.”
Have faith, it’s all going to turn out great
VB states that “You won’t put this book down.” He then goes on to state, “I don’t know of anyone in my life that has had near the life that Mike has had. It’s been so crazy.”
Mike responds that “Yes, it has been like living inside of a movie with 2 reels. In one reel, I would be in Milwaukee with a gun to my head and having my truck taken away. And the next day I would be in Minneapolis eating with millionaires going, ‘Wow, if only they knew where I was yesterday.’ I could just close my eyes and everything would be different all of the time. It was very surreal.”
After all of that, Mike reflects that “when anything happens to my company and people ask ‘what are we going to do,’ I say, ‘you guys, have faith and it’s all going to turn out great.’”
All the profits from Mike’s book will go towards helping addicts
Mike self-published his book, including buying all the paper so that all of the profits from his book can go towards “helping millions of addicts” and “employing tens of thousands of ex-addicts” with Mike’s Lindale Recovery Network. So, buy Mike’s book now for a fantastic read, hope in life, and helping addicts.