Tim Constantine on The Capital Hill Show starts this interview with Mike by saying, “This guy is an amazing, wonderfully nice man. But life has not always been easy for Mike Lindell.” Mike and Tim then go on to talk about the story of Mike’s life, a life detailed in Mike’s new memoir, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.“
Cocaine “was instant” for Mike
Mike’s issues started as a child. His parents divorced when he was seven years old. He was put into a new school where he would either “show off” or “wouldn’t talk to people” because he “felt like I didn’t fit in” and “didn’t feel worthy.”
Mike started drinking when he was around 15 years old. He then, at 22 years old or so, tried cocaine at a party and found that “it was instant for me” and immediately wanted to “try that again.” And so he found a crutch for his low self-esteem for, with cocaine, he could talk to people.
Mike was a functioning cocaine addict
For many years, Mike was basically a “functioning cocaine addict.” As he says, “God gave me that white picket fence,” and he raised a family. He was an entrepreneur and, after trying a variety of businesses, ended up owning a bar which, as Mike quips, “is not the best place for an addict.”
Mike then switched to crack cocaine in the early 2000s which, as Mike puts it, “really took me down really fast.” At about the same time, Mike also invented the MyPillow, a feat that sounds impossible, given Mike’s crack habit. But, for Mike, it was like “two parallel railroad tracks.” When he put all his energies into the track of inventing the MyPillow, his self-worth went up, so he “was feeling good” and found he wasn’t doing the drugs.
Mike was turned down everywhere
Once the MyPillow was invented, Mike got “turned down everywhere,” including the box stores. It was a ‘big let down.” So, Mike tried a kiosk, a venture he hardly knew “how to spell,” let alone run. Mike’s lack of ability to talk to others didn’t bode well for the kiosk business, and his wife at the time was the one doing the selling,
Mike then tried home shows and fairs. As a way to get around his fear of talking to others, he put a table between him and the people, which he found worked. Furthermore, the people would come back the next day and tell him that the “MyPillow changed their life” and made them “feel good inside.” So, he found he “couldn’t wait to do shows” and “didn’t need drugs to do the shows.” So, once again, he was on a track where he kept pretty clean, at least during the shows.
Mike recollects that it was like a double life: “You’re over here doing what you want and you are who you want to be. And then, over there, you’ve got these terrible addictions going on.”
The Lord led me here
Then, in early 2008, Mike’s “drug dealers did an intervention on me” after Mike had been up for 14 days. They told Mike that “everybody’s cutting you off.” So Mike went down to the streets of Minneapolis at 2:30 in the morning and found that the dealers were right, he couldn’t buy crack anywhere.
When he went back upstairs, one of the dealers said, “Gimme your phone. I’m going to take a picture of you for that book you’ve been telling us you’re going to write someday.” The dealer went on to say, “You’ve been telling us for years that you’re going to quit these drugs, and you’re going to come back and help us all someday. You’re our hope. We’re not going to let you die on us.”
Then, in December 2008, Mike had an old friend visit him. At that point, Mike had “lost everything.” Mike felt this friend was “in every way my equal, we both started cocaine at the same time and both started cracking at the same time.” His friend had “quit four years earlier and had found the Lord.” Mike hadn’t seen him in three years and when he asked why the friend was visiting, the friend said, “The Lord led me here.”
Mike had “all these questions for him that only this friend could answer.” The first question was, “Is it boring?” to which his friend answered, “No, man, it isn’t boring.”
But Mike didn’t quit that day. It wasn’t until January 16, 2009, that he said a prayer saying “Okay, God, I want to wake up in the morning and never have the desire for cocaine, crack, cigarettes, alcohol, or anything else ever again.” Mike woke up the next morning and found that all the addictions were gone. As Mike relates, he was “totally saved.”
Mike has a dream of doing an infomercial
The day Mike quit “everything was gone.” A couple of friends of his had taken the company. And, there was a lot of other “betrayal in my life.” So Mike spent two years fighting to get his business back on track, working the shows and fairs he had been doing before.
Then Mike had a dream of doing an infomercial. So he went to his friends and family and encouraged them to “pull our money together” and “make the biggest infomercial in the world.” Mike then decided to do the infomercial personally with a friend of his in front of a real audience. He was told: “That’ll never work, you need an actor.”
Mike ended up filming the infomercial in Saint Paul, Minnesota in August of 2011. A big California producer came in and watched as Mike was doing his lines, which prompted him to state that Mike “is the worst I’ve ever seen in my life” and that “this is a waste of my time.”
Mike doesn’t dispute his statement: “He was kind of right. I couldn’t talk in front of people. I couldn’t talk at all. I was scared to death.” Finally, it was determined that they would “take away the teleprompter and just bring in a table” like Mike had at his shows and “just do it naturally.”
The infomercial first aired on October 7, 2011, and Mike went from about 10 employees to 500 in just 40 days. MyPillow became “the number one infomercial” by December 26, 2011.
But, in the summer of 2014, Mike was “almost 2 days of going under” because the infomercial “had fatigued,” “people took advantage of me,” and because Mike “trusted too many people.”
During that same time, Mike met a woman who had “a personal relationship with Jesus.” Mike’s reaction was, “What do you mean? I wear my cross on TV more than anyone.” For the next 3 years, Mike found that he “had faith and knew we’re going to get through it,” for Mike started “praying about everything” and brought all of his business in-house. And “then things just exploded.”
And now, “We’ve sold 46 million pillows. We’ve got 1600 employees. And you know, the rest is kind of, you know, history.”
Mike goes “all in for Donald Trump”
In 2016, Mike “didn’t know anything about politics.” He didn’t “even know what a liberal or a conservative was” because as an ex-crack addict, he had never voted nor done anything else political.
But, in the summer of 2016, Mike ended up meeting then-candidate Donald Trump for a half-hour private meeting. They talked about the inner city, Mike’s addictions, the network that Mike was going to create to help addicts, and about products made in America. When Mike walked out of Trump’s office, he said, “Wow, he’s going to be the best president in history.”
Back in Minnesota, Mike told his board, “I’m going go all in for Donald Trump.” They retorted, “You know, you’re going to lose half our business.” But Mike informed them that, “We didn’t get this far by me not listening to God. I’m going to do what I know is right and what I prayed about.”
Mike gives all to God and speaks out for Jesus
Mike was finally saved on February 18, 2017, at a veterans’ retreat he was invited to. He ended up doing “a full surrender, just giving it all to God.” And, Mike came out of the experience to find that, for the first time, he “was able to go out and speak out.”
Mike then went on to speak at the US Bank Stadium to 50,000 millennials. As he says, “here’s the guy that couldn’t talk before, and he’s speaking out for Jesus like I used to do for MyPillow.” So this was to Mike “my calling coming full circle.”
Giving people hope
Mike was headed to a prison with his friend Jack Brewer, where they were “going to speak to the inmates and give them a copy of my book.”
Mike “knows my book is going to help so many people and give them hope,” and that “people need hope.” Mike goes on to say that we “have the greatest opportunity in the history of the world to get people to God.” And, “Addiction is the opportunity to bring people to God because all addicts and their families are looking for hope.”
Mike sees that “everyone needs some hope,” and that “hope has gone.” Mike “believes we’re in the biggest revival in the history of our country, and we’re going to bring God back into our country and help the wounds that people have.”
Lindell Recovery Network™
Mike talked about his Lindell Recovery Network™ that will be coming out in about two months. As Mike explains, it “is going to be the best health service ever for addicts.”
Mike strongly feels that “the best place for addicts is a faith-based treatment center like The Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, Union Gospels, or anything that’s faith-based.” Mike goes on to say that “When you go to those secular centers, you just flush your money down the toilet. They don’t work.” Mike then explains that “You need to address why you are an addict in the first place. Address those wounds. Get your heart restored.”
Find out more in Mike’s book
To find out more about Mike’s amazing life, be sure to get Mike’s new book, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.
As Tim says, “He’s got the greatest story there is. It’s the American dream. You make bad choices, we all make bad choices. But you have the opportunity to change it and you know what, God sure makes that easier.”