Addiction and entrepreneurship: an insightful interview with Hugh Hewitt

“The reason I love Mike Lindell is because of his personal story. He’s now finally written it down after people have been telling him for years to write the book, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO, said Hugh Hewitt in this interview with Mike at CPAC 2020.

Addiction: “It’s a self-worth thing”

The seeds of Mike’s addictions go back to his childhood. Mike was born and raised in Minnesota and his parents divorced when he was seven when divorce wasn’t common. He got put into a new school and, when Mike looks back, he sees that he lived with a fear rejection due to all these changes. So, he was either very shy or he would “just show off.”

Then, in about 1982, Mike was introduced to cocaine and he “could finally talk to people.” Mike believes that addiction comes from “things that happened in childhood” that then manifest into rejection. As he says, “It is a ‘self-worth thing.”

Crack: two parallel railroad tracks

Mike then went from cocaine to crack in the early 2000s and a few years later he invented the famous MyPillow. Mike says that when he got into crack cocaine, it was like “two parallel railroad tracks.” One of the tracks was the “high-speed addiction and craziness.” The other was “diving into MyPillow and putting all my energies there.”

Once he invented MyPillow, he was “turned down everywhere” which was “kinda devastating.” So, he ended up doing home shows and fairs across the country for seven years. In the meantime, he had a lot of betrayals and lost his 20-year marriage.

It got so bad that in 2008, even the drug dealers did an intervention on Mike. He had been up for 14 days and they said, “You’re not getting any more crack until you go to bed.” And sure enough, all of the dealers on the street wouldn’t let Mike buy crack. When he came back, one dealer took his picture and said, “You’ve been telling us for years that you’re going to write this book and that this pillow is just a platform for God, and that you’re going to come back and help us someday.”

And it has come full circle now. Two of the dealers now work for Mike and are born-again Christians. That picture that the dealer took is now on the cover of Mike’s book. Plus, Mike is working on a platform that will help all addicts.

Hope for addicts

Mike sees that “addiction affects everyone, no matter how many forks you eat with. People are dying now. It’s a major epidemic in our country.” To address this epidemic, the “best thing you can do is go to a faith-based treatment center like Teen Challenge and the Salvation Army.

Addicts need to “look for someone that’s made it through and see how they found hope and success.” Mike’s book is a good place to start, as it is a story of hope for all.

Mike’s Lindell Recovery Network will be coming out in a few months which is “going to be the best online help ever put out there for addicts.” Mike is able to come out with this platform due to the fact that the President is getting rid of regulations. For example, 38 states have regulations where in order to be a counselor for an addict, you must go to college for four years. Mike’s reaction to this is that he has “forgotten more about addiction than most people would ever know.” Mike “wants to see other addicts who have made it through be counselors.”

Mike has been straight since January 16, 2009, when he was “set free of that desire by the grace of God.” But Mike did go to a faith-based treatment center a couple of months after that to find out why he was addicted in the first place.

Mike believes that meetings are good, as you can then draw on the experiences of people who have made it through and duplicate what they did. And, Mike says, “what people will find is that the addicts found success through God.”

That is why “secular treatment centers do not work in this country.” You “get in there and they shame you and say things like, ‘you hurt your kids, and you spent all your money.’” Then you get out and you feel even more shame and more failure and you’re “like a ticking time bomb” just waiting to go back to drugs.

But, if you go to a Teen Challenge or Salvation Army or if you go to meetings where they put God first “you will get a foundation in your life and then you have something to fall back on.”

One of the things that addicts have to realize is that “you’re not going to get trust right away.” The first people that trusted Mike “were my drug dealers and then the people I did drugs with who went ‘wow, he really did quit.'” So, you need a foundation as you work on getting trust.

Mike almost lost MyPillow

Mike’s story is an amazing story of overcoming overwhelming addictions and creating the successful MyPillow company. He now has sold 46 million MyPillows and has 1600 employees. And, MyPillow “just keeps getting bigger every day.” Mike has added Giza sheets, towels, bed toppers, and mattresses, all products “that help people.”

Mike almost lost the company though. After Mike quit all his addictions on January 16, 2009, he had to spend two years trying to get his ground back. For, “a couple of guys had taken MyPillow and copied it.”

But by 2011 Mike had rebuilt the company. He had also rebuilt the trust of his friends and family and was able to convince them to do an infomercial. Mike said, “We’re going to do an infomercial. It’s going to be the biggest one in history.” But when they went to film the infomercial, Mike couldn’t talk due to his fear of rejection.

In fact, Mike was so bad that a producer who had come in the night before watched Mike do his readings and then promptly texted: “This guy’s the worse guy I’ve ever seen. He’s never going to make it on TV.” They then threw away the teleprompter so Mike could be more natural and went ahead with the infomercial.

When the infomercial came out it was so successful that it caused MyPillow to grow from 10 employees to 500 in 40 days.

Mike’s book: addiction and entrepreneurship

It took Mike about seven years to write his book. It “turned out exactly the way I wanted it.” For when you “read the book, it is going to read like the best fiction novel you’ve ever read and then you’re going to go ‘wait a minute, this is real.’”

Mike’s book is not just about addiction, it’s also about entrepreneurship. Mike was a functioning cocaine addict who “was never afraid to jump in and try something,” so he created several businesses, from carpet cleaning to lunch wagons to owning bars.

Mike encourages others to do the same: “With the economy we have right now, it is a great time for entrepreneurs and inventors to get into business because you have the safety net of the best economy in history to fall back on.” So Mike tells everyone out there, “Don’t be afraid to jump in and try something now.”

Start your new chapter in life

Mike’s book is “going to give people a lot of hope,” whether they are an addict looking for hope or an entrepreneur who needs that final push to actually start the business they are dreaming of. So get What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO now and start that new chapter in your life.