Creator & Owner of My Pillow Took Dark Path Before Finding God & Success In Business
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Interview
In a little less than eight years, Mike Lindell has become one of the most popular pitchman on national television. As owner and creator of 'My Pillow', Lindell with his signature blue button down dress shirt and silver cross necklace have become a part of Americana.
With his positive outlook and laid back demeanor, it would be easy to assume that Lindell has been a calculated businessman who came up with a niche product, that in turn has made him a very wealthy man.
But in his recent autobiography, "What Are The Odds' - From Crack Addict To CEO', Lindell paints a less than flattering picture of an out of control drug user and gambler, who fed his addictions to the point he lost his home, marriage, and reputation, eventually hitting rock bottom, before God turned Lindell's life around, allowing the Minnesota native to use his new found prosperity to carry about His will.
It wasn't until Lindell began writing his memoir that he realized God had His hand on Mike's life. "I think it goes way back. A lot of things would happen to me, and as they began to unfold I would wonder what are the odds. How is it that I'm coming through this situation unscathed."
Lindell adds, "Even during the time that I wasn't close to God, I still knew the Bible, I believed in God, I just didn't have a relationship with Jesus. I knew 'all things are possible'. Somewhere along the line it became more of 'when does all that's happening become a miracle."
Lindell assumed when he was cheating death, whether escaping the hands of debt collecting thugs, or avoiding injury from near fatal accidents, that he was just beating long odds. When Lindell began running the numbers in his head, divine guidance became more real to him.
"I would sit around with my friends and again we'd say what are the odds. On a weekly basis, maybe one in a million, or even on a monthly basis, maybe one in a billion. It really hit me around 2005 or 2006, when I began to have prophetic dreams. That's around the same time I began to start My Pillow."
His full transformation to Jesus as Lord and savior didn't happen overnight "By 2008 I began to realize, God was watching over me, and He had a bigger plan for my life. Even then, I didn't fully give my life to Jesus until 2017. But the good Lord has a plan, and He works that plan through us no matter where we are in our personal journey."
Alcohol, crack cocaine, and staggering gambling debts, Lindell's dark side is all laid out on 300 plus pages in 'What Are The Odds'. "Most of the book is not pretty. I went through some tough years. More like tough decades. And there's a lot I didn't include in the book. The publisher probably assumed I was embellishing, but everything in the book is factual. That's why it was important to me to take control. It was important to let readers know what I went through, and how with God I survived for His glory."
With his strengthening Christianity and zest for life, Lindell emerged as a conservative, leaning towards the republican party. "What's odd, is that during my struggles I never really paid much attention to politics. In my book I talk about having a dream of meeting Donald Trump. After he became the party's nominee we met for the first time, and the photo op at Trump Tower was just as I envisioned it would be."
Will Lindell follow in the footsteps of Donald Trump, an elder wealthy businessman turned politician, with no prior political aspirations. Lindell has kept his close ties to Trump, appearing at rallies and earlier this year at a Rose Garden press conference for COVID-19. There's talk about Lindell running for governor in his home state of Minnesota in 2022. "I'm still exploring the possibility. If it's God will then it will happen."
There is somewhat of an irony to Lindell and political circles. He admits to having little interest in politics prior to January 2009, when Lindell began to get sober following a well-documented crack addiction. “When I quit everything on January 16th of 2009, I had never voted. I knew nothing about politics. I didn’t know a liberal from a conservative, nor did I care. It wasn't something I focused on. All that has changed."
Lindell says he had to study up on both parties prior to meeting Trump in August of 2016. "I didn't know what each stood for. But I learned quick, especially after meeting Trump." He says the then republican presidential nominee was generally interested about his company, and the two mainly talked business. "He had real interest in My Pillow, and the fact we were American based."
Lindell uses his new found celebrity and wealth to fund several worthwhile causes, among them the Lindell Foundation, a faith-based foundation originally started to help addicts and My Pillow employees. The foundation launched nationwide in August 2017, initially helped those effected by Hurricane Harvey. Its focus has since been broadened to help people with any personal problem, including addictions, work and spousal problems, cancer victims, and veterans.
"It's important to give back, and I feel certain God has put me in a position to help others."
Lindell admits to having helped fund the 2019 film 'Unplanned', based on the disputed memoir by Abby Johnson of the same name. The film follows Johnson's life as a clinical director for Planned Parenthood, and her subsequent transition to anti-abortion activism. Lindell has a small cameo as well.
"I actually went to the red carpet premier in Hollywood. That was strange enough. Imagine the My Pillow spokesperson going to a Hollywood premier. But I did have a cameo in the film, and I believed in the subject matter. What was really bizarre, was there were protesters of the film at the event, and when they saw me they shouted out 'hey you're that My Pillow guy'."
Lindell goes on to say, "Several of them asked to take photos with me. I'm almost always happy to oblige. But when I crossed over to where they were, I told them we could do this, but not with any of the protest signs. They had no problem laying the signs down for a quick photo op. After I asked them if they really understood what they were protesting about, and most of them said not really. They were just being paid to protest. How sad is that."
With My Pillow commercials running continually on Fox News, and other cable outlets, how much input does Lindell have in their productions. "Quite a bit. A lot of it is adlib, with some of it structured. Like my book I want my commercials to reflect who I am." Over the past decade, Lindell has hawked My Pillow at trade shows, on 30 minute infomercials, 30 second commercials, and the shopping channel QVC. "I am the face of My Pillow."
Life for Lindell is now on fast forward. "My platform is bigger because of my higher profile, and that's okay. It's more time I can witness for Jesus, and share my story. Not everyone goes to church, and people I meet might be in a bad place. It's just easier to get to them through my own personal witness."
He squeezes as much as he can into 24 hours a day. "It's a little crazy right now. I spend three hours on the phone with management with My Pillow. I might spend an hour campaigning. I do four or five interviews. Everyone wants to talk with me. I spend as much time as I can with family. At night I check the graphics for the business. I have some 1500 employees, and all of them have my number. My quiet time is filled with prayer and reading the Bible."
Mike Lindell's story sounds like a win for the Almighty, a modern day victory for those who believe in God, how He can bring about His will by taking hold of someone's life, and using their transformation to carry out His purpose. No matter where you are in your own personal journey, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of 'What Are The Odds - From Crack Addict To CEO' by Mike Lindell.
Whether you are Christian or not, it is a strong autobiography, and a great message how one can overcome addictions and achieve goals they wouldn't have imagined otherwise. For more on the book and how to receive a copy go to https://www.mypillow.com/mikelindellbook