Mike Lindell was the keynote speaker at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. There, he told his inspiring redemption story of going from crack addict to inventing and finding tremendous success with his revolutionary MyPillow, meeting with President Trump, becoming an Executive Producer of the pro-life film “Unplanned,” and creating the Lindell Recovery Network to help addicts lead successful lives as he has.
When Mike was 7 years old, his parents were divorced and, looking back, he now realizes how important the family unit really is. Because he wound up moving to a new school which made him feel very shy and withdrawn and, to compensate, made him show off, doing things like jumping out of a moving bus’s window. Later in life, Mike would find out that the seeds of his addictions were from his parents’ divorce and the wounds from the trauma of a fatherless childhood.
Once he graduated, he dropped out of college after the first quarter and got a job at a grocery store. He got fired, though, because “I tried to tell him how to run his business.”
In a five-year reunion, Mike saw that his classmates had started families and had completed college. And he wanted what they had, which made his self-worth just get “worse and worse.”
It was at that point, in 1984, that he got introduced to cocaine and discovered “false courage” where he found that he could talk to people. So he became a functioning cocaine addict.
And then, Mike prayed to God that he wanted a family, and “everything I prayed for was handed to me on a silver platter.” He got married, was married for 20 years, and raised four kids – all while being a cocaine addict.
Meanwhile, Mike was always an entrepreneur. He owned a lunch wagon business, a carpet cleaning business, and went on to own bars and restaurants which, as Mike says, is “not a good place for an addict.”
Mike invents the MyPillow
In 2003, Mike had to sell the bars, which seemed “absolutely devastating.” But in retrospect, Mike sees it as a Divine appointment, for it drove him to invent the MyPillow, an invention that God gave to him in a dream.
Mike spent 1 1/2 years inventing the MyPillow. Then to sell the MyPillow, Mike started a kiosk. It was tough, though, due to Mike’s fear of talking to people. And so, few pillows were sold at that kiosk.
Then his business turned around when one of the customers from that kiosk called him saying that the MyPillow changed his life, that it was a “miracle product.” As it turns out, this customer ran the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show and asked if Mike would like a spot there.
Mike did sell his MyPillows at the Home and Garden Show and found that when he was behind a table in a booth, that he could talk to people, and so he was tremendously successful. After that, for the next seven years, he sold MyPillows at home shows and fairs across the country.
But things weren’t going well. In 2007, Mike lost his house and got a divorce after 20 years of marriage because his wife couldn’t take the pressure. Plus, some people were trying to take the MyPillow company.
Mike continued to do drugs and would talk to his friends about the Bible and how they would be set free. The next morning he would find that he had lost his drug friends, as they had quit drugs.
Then in the spring of 2008, he had been up for 14 days on crack. During this time, he had a 5-minute interview on a Christian radio station, Channel 6. After that, a woman who had heard him called and said she wanted to pray with him. Two hours later, another woman called saying she had heard him and that “God’s been telling me to pray for you, and you need to do whatever you need to do to keep the pillow platform, for something big is going to happen.” After that, multiple other people called, praying for him.
After 14 days of being up, his drug dealers had an intervention where they cut him off of all the drugs, and Mike couldn’t buy drugs anywhere. The drug dealers took a picture of Mike looking very ragged after 14 days of no sleep and said: “You’ve been telling us for years that this pillow is a platform for God and that you’re going to come back someday and help us all get out of this.” And now, by the way, two of these drug dealers are born-again Christians and work for Mike.
Soon after this, Mike’s son came up to him and said that he had to leave him due to Mike’s addictions. He was 18, and Mike then realized that he was not hiding his drugs very well and that everything was crumbling.
Then Mike’s friend Dick came to Mike saying “the Lord led me here.” Both Mike and Dick had started cocaine at the same time and then turned to crack at the same time. Dick had been straight for three years and had found the Lord. Because Mike was comfortable with Dick because he was his equal, Mike was able to ask questions like,” Is it boring?” And Dick said, “No man, it ain’t boring.”
Then, on October 24, 2008, Mike “made a deal with God” and said, “I’m going to do this platform thing and I want to wake up in the morning and never have the desire for anything again, and then I’ll do this platform deal.” And the next day, Mike woke up and his desires were gone.
MyPillow becomes very successful
Make went to work on building the business, and was able to get $30,000 cash when he didn’t have a dime in the world. He told some investors that he used to be on crack cocaine and that he was going to do his shows and then he was going to do an infomercial. One of the investors asked Mike when he quit crack to which Mike answered, “Last Thursday.” All of them then got up and just left the room. But, when they came back, they gave Mike the loan and Mike went back to doing his shows and fairs and saved the business.
When Mike looks back, he figures that it had to be a Divine appointment, given the circumstances. How else would investors give $30,000 to a crack addict who had only been off crack for a few days?
Mike then started his famous infomercial that he starred in, despite the advice he was given. He brought in a real audience, and he and a friend did the first infomercial. But they found that Mike was lousy with the Teleprompter. So they threw out the Teleprompter and brought in a table to emulate just what he had been doing when selling the pillows at shows.
The infomercial was tremendously successful. It aired on October 7, 2011 (while Mike was living in a sister’s basement) and within 40 days, the MyPillow company grew from 5-10 employees to 500 employees.
Mike and President Trump
In the spring of 2015, Mike had a dream that he would be “in a room with Donald Trump.” And, two weeks later, Trump announced he was running for president.
Mike was then invited to the National Prayer Breakfast and, by a “ Divine appointment,” Mike was picked out of 12 people to pray with Ben Carson. Mike later went to the Republican Convention and sat in the Donald Trump section.
Later in July 2016, Donald Trump called Mike and asked Mike to meet him at Trump Tower in New York City. At the meeting, they talked about the inner cities. Trump also asked Mike about the cross he was wearing and talked about Christianity. When the meeting was over, Mike decided that Trump was “going to be the best president ever.”
And then Mike went out and talked to Trump’s employees and found that talking to these employees was “just like talking to mine”. And so, based on these events, Mike went “all in” for Donald Trump.
After Trump was elected, he had a Made in America Summit at the White House, and Mike was invited to attend. When Mike got there, he found, to his amazement, that the White House had placed him at the table right next to Donald Trump.
Mike surrenders to Jesus
Meanwhile, Mike had met a woman who completely changed his life. For, she had “this relationship with Jesus that I didn’t have,” and Mike wanted what she had. And then, on February 18, 2017, Mike “completely surrendered to Jesus.’ And with that, Mike knew that he could go out and speak for Jesus and that he was going to take the pillow platform and evangelize.
The first step was to go to the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and speak to 50,000 kids about his story of redemption and pray with them. Three weeks later while at an amusement park near Minneapolis, some of the attendees of the event saw him and came up to him saying, “you saved us with your story of hope.”
Mike becomes an Executive Producer of the pro-life film “Unplanned” – and has a cameo in it
Mike then got approached about doing the movie, Unplanned. He prayed about it and then said “yes.” He is now an Executive Producer of the film and has a cameo in the movie where he bulldozers a Planned Parenthood building down. He also gave $1 million towards the funding the film.
Lindell Recovery Network – helping addicts find success
And now, Mike has created the Lindell Recovery Network (LRN). As Mike says, “LRN is a revolutionary platform I have been working on which will set people free from addiction once and for all.”
There has to be God
It has been an amazing life for Mike. And Mike’s reaction to his event-filled life is, “Wow this has to be God because you have a one in 1 million to one in 1 billion chance that all of these events could happen to an ex-crack addict.”