It is an amazing book for it details how Mike went from the ravages of cocaine, crack, and gambling addictions to the wildly successful life he has now.
Mike’s life of addictions started in childhood
The addictions go back to his childhood. Mike’s parents divorced in 1969 when divorce wasn’t very common. He was put into a new school and he felt like he couldn’t fit in. So, to compensate, he would either show off, like saying, “Hey, watch me jump out of this bus window,” or he wouldn’t talk to people, because you “can’t get rejected if you don’t talk.”
Cocaine and entrepreneurship
Mike got introduced to cocaine in the 80s, and then, “Boy, I could talk your ear off.” But, even though he used cocaine, he was always an entrepreneur including owning a lunch wagon business, a carpet cleaning business, and then small bars, one which he had for 13 years. As Mike quips, the bars weren’t “a real good place for an addict.”
Then, during the early 2000s, Mike started crack cocaine, and things took a turn for the worse.
“We are cutting you off”
Mike’s drug habit was so bad that three of Mike’s drug dealers actually did an intervention in early 2008. They said, “Mike, you’ve been up for 14 days and we are cutting you off.” Mike went down to the streets of Minneapolis at 2:30 in the morning and, sure enough, couldn’t buy any crack.
When Mike came back from the streets, one of the dealers said, “How did that work out for you?” He then told Mike to “Give me your phone. I’m taking a picture. You’re going to need that for that book you’ve been telling us about. You’ve been telling us for years that this pillow thing is just a platform for God and that you’re going to come back and help us all someday get out of this addiction lifestyle we live in.”
Two of those dealers now work for Mike and are born-again Christians. And, the picture of Mike that the dealer took? It is now on the book cover of Mike’s new book.
Mike’s “hope match”
A few months following the intervention, Mike’s friend, Dick, “showed up out of nowhere in December of 2008.” Mike felt that Dick was “his equal.” They had both started cocaine at the same time, then both switched to crack cocaine at the same time, and both were functioning addicts.
When Mike asked Dick what he was doing at his place, he answered, “I don’t know, the Lord led me here.” Mike had heard that Dick had been straight for four years and asked, “Dick, is it boring?” Dick replied, “No man, it ain’t boring.” Mike then questioned him for over an hour. For Mike, Dick was his “hope match.”
And now, part of the Lindell Recovery Network that Mike is coming out with soon includes hope matches for addicts. Addicts will be able to find recovered addicts who match their age and drug choice and so can relate to their hope matches, just as Mike related to Dick.
“I couldn’t go one more day or my calling would be gone”
A month later on January 16, 2009, Mike “knew I couldn’t go one more day or my calling would be gone.” And, yes, he made sure that he “didn’t have any money.” But the possibility of losing his calling was his bottom, not the loss of the money. Mike prayed, then “woke up the next day and I was completely freed of my desires.”
Two months later Mike went through a faith-based treatment center to find out why he was an addict in the first place. And that’s when he discovered that it was his unworthiness that led him to drugs, and that low self-worth was caused by his parents’ divorce.
Addiction affects us all
Mike believes that “addiction affects all of us no matter how many forks we eat with.” He also believes that addiction is the opportunity for “the biggest revival ever to get us back to God.”
For, there are “All these kids that are dying from opioid addiction and everybody’s looking for hope.”
Mike surrenders to God and tells his story to 50,000 millennials
Although prayer saved Mike from drugs, Mike did not do a full surrender to Jesus Christ until February 18, 2017, at a spiritual retreat. This has caused many people to remark that he “always wore his cross on TV, you phony. What were you telling us?” As Mike puts it, “I wanted to be that Christian guy. I believed in God. I just didn’t have that relationship.”
Once Mike had surrendered to Jesus he, who had always had a hard time speaking to anyone,” was able to go out and speak to 50,000 millennials at the US Bank Stadium and tell five minutes of my story.”
Two weeks later, Mike was at ValleyFair, Minnesota with his granddaughter, and “all these millennials who heard my speech came up to say, “Yes, I was saved.” They went on to say, “You know, your story is so incredible. It gives me hope.” For Mike, it “was just God confirming to me that I was finally on the right path.”
Politics affect everything we do
Mike believes that MyPillow is “just a platform for a much bigger purpose for me,” including the fact that “God put me in line with the President.” Mike “didn’t know anything about politics.” Then, all of a sudden, Mike “ended up in a private meeting with Donald Trump in Trump Tower before he was elected.” Mike “ended up going all-in and that affected my business, but it affected it for the good.”
Mike “was attacked and was called a racist” after he did a press release about his support for Trump. But that “just made me want to go all-in even more.”
And now, Mike realizes “how politics affect everything we do.” This includes help for Mike’s platform to help addicts, the Lindell Recovery Network. For, “bureaucracy was stopping me from doing what I wanted to do.” But then Trump signed the Opioid Bill at a signing ceremony Mike was at, which eliminated the bureaucracy that was blocking Mike’s platform.
“You can take a can of red paint and just paint Minnesota red”
Mike sees that Trump has “so many common-sense solutions.” And now, in Minnesota “they want me to run for governor,” to promote these solutions, which he is praying about. Mike believes that ‘We’ve got so many things that can be fixed in our country and that are being fixed.” As examples, Mike points to the fact that “Minneapolis has the highest black unemployment in the United States,” and that the “crime rate is up 70%.” This, as Mike says, is because “they’re not accepting the good things the President’s doing. And it’s wrong.”
Mike knows that “Everything Trump told me has come through.” His biggest frustration is getting that message out, for even some of his friends “can’t see what’s going on or where we came from and how we got out of it.”
Mike is turning to Ben Carson, the HHS Secretary, for advice about running as governor. Over the last several years, Mike has formed a bond with Carson. In fact, Carson wrote the forward to Mike’s new book. Mike is going to the White House for African American history month where he will be with Carson and will be able to get “a lot of good advice from him because when he was put in a position to run for President, he had never been a politician like other people.”
And now, Trump just made Mike chairman of the Minnesota Trump campaign. Mike “has a whole plan to win Minnesota.” So, as Mike says, ”You heard it here first on your show. You can take a can of red paint and just paint Minnesota red.”
Mike’s book: “an inspirational story”
As they say on the Bernie and Sid in the Morning show, “Mike, you’re a great guy and it’s an inspirational story.”
Now you can read Mike’s inspirational story by getting his book here: What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.