Jon Walton from Revocation Radio started this interview telling Mike Lindell that he had watched Mike’s interview with Mark Levine and felt that, “something incredible is about to happen through the platform of MyPillow and what God’s been doing through your life.” He then asked Mike to “start at the beginning and do a quick synopsis of your life.”
Mike’s parents were divorced when he was seven and, as a consequence, he was put into a new school. Back then, he didn’t realize there were any issues, he just thought he was very shy. But in reality, he had a strong fear of rejection and that manifested into either showing off or not talking to people.
Mike’s life changed after going to a 5-year high school reunion. There, he found that everyone else was finishing college and already starting their careers. Mike, on the other hand, had dropped out of college the first year and was working at a drive-in movie theater and a grocery store.
He found that he “just needed to feel good about something in the inside,” that it was so painful because “he really wanted what they had: families, careers, and things that they had already started.”
Around this time, in 1984, Mike was introduced to cocaine. With cocaine, he found that he could now talk to people and not feel shy. So he became a “functioning cocaine addict,” and went on to get the family he wanted.
He also had some small-town bars which, as Mike says, “is not the best place for an addict.” After the bars closed, Mike would talk to his friends about the Revelation and other stories in the Bible that he had learned while reading the Bible in jail. To his surprise, the friends “would be saved and the next day they were gone.” As Mike says, “They’re quitting and I’m going wow, what did I say? You know, I’m losing friends here.” In fact, Mike says that he can “count 28 people that quit on their last day with me.” Mike looks back now and realizes that this was all about “God chasing me”.
In the year 2000, Mike switched to crack cocaine. Crack is a very different drug: it is a non-social drug which can lead to paranoia, so you’re constantly doing things like “peeking out of windows.”
Mike invents MyPillow and takes it on the road
In 2004, Mike ended up selling the small-town bars he had. Also, at that time, he had a dream from God about inventing a pillow. So he put his energy into developing this pillow from God, going through “94 different kinds of things that could go into a pillow.”
Then he took his MyPillow to the big box stores, but was totally shut out. So, for the first six or seven years, Mike sold the MyPillow at fairs and home shows across the country. While selling, Mike had a revelation: that if there was a table in front of him, he could talk to people and actually sell, so he felt good about himself and didn’t need drugs.
As Mike says about this time, “It wasn’t about the money. It was about helping people. But if I stepped out from behind that table, I couldn’t talk, so I needed drugs.”
During this time, Mike lost his 20-year marriage plus people were trying to take the MyPillow company.
Things started happening
In 2008, things started happening to Mike. He had lost everything and was in an old farmhouse. Then, a Christian woman who ran a little public access TV channel in Minneapolis invited Mike to come in for an interview which she aired multiple times. After the show, a woman called and said “God told me to call you and pray for you,” and she prayed for a half-hour. Two hours later, he got another call. She said, “What you are doing is so important to God and I want to pray with you.” Then, a third person called and said, “I don’t believe in God, but I keep waking up in a dream that’s telling me I’m supposed to tell you that what you are doing is important for God, and he hung up.” Several similar calls came after that.
Then, his sister called and said, “You know, God’s got a big calling for you. He’s tired of you standing in front of semi’s thinking someone else can get chosen.” Mike stayed up for 14 days after that.
After being up the 14 days, his drug dealers had an intervention on Mike and stopped all of his drugs from all the dealers. Then the drug dealer took Mike’s phone and took a picture saying, “You are going to need this picture for your book. You’ve been telling us for years that you’re going to quit everything and you’re going to come back and help get all of us out of this addiction and the world that we are in. We are not going to let you die on us.” And now, two of the drug dealers work for Mike and are born-again Christians.
Next, Mike’s son, who had been living with him, told him that he couldn’t live with him anymore due to Mike’s drugs. So Mike “knew I wasn’t hiding the addiction, and it broke my heart when he moved out.”
After that, Mike’s friend came to see him in December 2008 saying, “The Lord led me here.” The friend was Mike’s equal. They both did cocaine at the same time and then they both switched to crack at the same time. But, his friend had been freed of the drugs for three years. And because he was an equal, Mike felt comfortable asking him all sorts of questions like, for example, “Is it boring?” to which the friend answered, “No man, it ain’t boring.”
Mike becomes clean and sober
Finally, on January 16, 2009, Mike felt that the door was closing on what God was calling on him to do. So Mike made a deal and said, “God, I want to wake up in the morning and never have the desire for drugs or alcohol or anything again, and then I will do this platform thing.” And when Mike woke up the next morning, his desires were gone.
In Spring of 2009, Mike went to his church’s outpatient treatment center to try to understand why he did drugs. They told him, “We are not here to tell you what you did and what you didn’t do. We all have our stories. Let’s talk about your father.” And it was then that he understood that all the wounds he had as a child had deeply affected him. And now Mike believes that all addictions manifest from trauma in childhood, like fatherlessness, and that addiction is not a disease.
Some people had taken everything that Mike had, and he needed $30,000 to recover his company. So he walked in with just his pillow to visit some investors. Mike told them that he needed to borrow $30,000 and that he had no collateral. He also told him about his shows and his dream of doing an infomercial. Plus he told him that he had given up crack – four days ago. With that, the investors left the room. When they came back, though, they gave him the loan. To this day, Mike knows that this was a “Divine appointment.”
The MyPillow Infomercial
Then, in 2009, Mike pooled money from family and friends to do an infomercial. They got a real audience and Mike and a friend did the infomercial, even though he was advised to hire an actor. It didn’t start well, as Mike couldn’t say his lines while standing in front of the audience, and couldn’t deal with the Teleprompter. So they threw out the Teleprompter and got a table for Mike to stand behind to emulate what he did when he sold his pillows at shows.
The infomercial launched October 7, 2011, and was tremendously successful. When it launched, he had five or 10 employees and 40 days later, he had 500 employees. Plus it was the number one infomercial in the world by December 27, 2011. Over the next six months, Mike took in “tens of millions of dollars.”
But Mike was being taken advantage of by other big companies, and soon Mike was $5-6 million in debt. So, Mike decided to take everything in-house including the advertising. Then Mike started directing the commercials himself and created commercials based on the fact that people just wanted to see honest advertising.
Mike and President Trump
In 2015, Mike had a dream that he would be with Donald Trump in a room. Soon after that, Trump announced that he was running for president. Then, Mike was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast where he was selected to pray with Ben Carson.
And then things just kept happening. For example, all of a sudden Mike ended up at the Republican convention.
And then he got an email from Donald Trump asking Mike to meet him at Trump Tower in New York City, which Mike did on August 15, 2016, in a private meeting room.
During the meeting, Trump said: “Mike, you always wear your cross, are you a Christian?” Mike answered, “This is really a Divine appointment, Mr. Trump.” They then talked about the inner cities, addiction, and making products in America.
When Mike walked out of the meeting and talked to Trump’s employees he said it was “just like talking to my employees”. All of the employees had “so much passion and good things to say.” So Mike concluded that “this guy is going to be the greatest President in history.”
So Mike went all in for the Trump, despite MyPillow board members saying that it was going to hurt the company. Mike response was that he “didn’t get this far by not listening to God.”
After Trump won the election, he had a Made in America Summit at the White House, and Mike was invited. As Mike says, it “was so surreal,” because here he was, an ex-crack addict at the White House. On top of that, the President wanted Mike to sit next to him at the table.
When Mike looks at all these events, he knows that they were all “God-ordained.” As Mike says, “there is no way that this could happen, the odds are too impossible.”
Mike does a full surrender to God and starts Evangelizing
In 2017, Mike did a full surrender to God at the Operation Restored Warriors. And, when he walked out of the meeting, he found that he had the same passion he felt for his MyPillow and knew that he could speak for Jesus. Two months later, Mike, the “shy guy” was speaking to 50,000 millennials in the US Bank Stadium, telling his story and praying with them.
Later, when he was at an amusement park with his granddaughter, he had many of the attendees come up to him and say, “Your story helped us so much.” Mike believes “it was God’s way of confirming that he was on the right path.”
Lindell Recovery Network™
Mike has been working on his Lindell Recovery Network™ (LRN) for several years. As Mike describes it, “LRN is a revolutionary platform that I’ve been working on that is going to set people free from addiction once and for all.”
Mike just wants to tell addicts out there that there is hope in Jesus. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Mike says that God has guided his path and, as Mike’s friend said, “No man, it ain’t boring.”