Skip to main content

From Crack Addict to CEO

Share This article

Mike Lindell began having prophetic dreams before he was a Christian and that was how he got the idea to create My Pillow, Inc. in 2004. During this time, Mike was hiding a horrible secret, he was addicted to crack cocaine.

In 1982, Mike became addicted to cocaine and alcohol which progressed to crack cocaine in the late 1990s. These included the first few years of his pillow business. During this time, he lost everything—his 20-year marriage, house, and almost his business. By spring 2008 his drug addiction got so bad that his three crack dealers staged an intervention. Mike explains, “They said I had been awake for 19 days straight. They refused to sell to me again. One of them tried babysitting me until I fell asleep.”

During that same year, his pillow was part of a small infomercial where people could call to order the pillow. The number on the screen would ring directly to his phone. One night Mike got four different phones calls--one from an atheist--where God put it on their hearts to call Mike and pray for him. He was blown away! Also, in December of 2008, one of his previous drug-addicted friends got saved. Mike trusted this man and asked him some questions about his faith, knowing that he would shoot straight with him. His sister who was also a Christian called Mike one day and told him that he needed to get things right with God. All of these things planted seeds that began to take root and grow. January 16, 2009 was the day that Mike will never forget. He prayed to God for help and the Lord took his desire to use drugs away. My Pillow was starting to gain traction and Mike knew if he didn’t quit that day, he wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the doors that were opening for him. He shares, “I asked God to take away my desire to do drugs. I said, ‘Take it away, and I’m all yours.’” God answered his prayer because the next morning when he woke up, the desire to use was gone. “I woke up and felt the most peaceful I ever have,” he says.

Late 2011 was a game-changer. The My Pillow infomercial changed everything! His family and friends all pooled their money together to film it. Mike says, “It became the number one infomercial in the world. In 40 days, we went from five employees to 500.” Today, the company manufactures 25,000 pillows each day at a factory in Shakopee, MN and with over 30 million pillows sold.

Mike has a book about his life coming out in December entitled, What Are The Odds?

Mike was born on 28 June 1961, in Mankato. He is the inventor and patent owner behind the pillow’s open-cell, poly-foam design. His company started with five employees and has 1,500 people today. He sold his first pillow at a mall kiosk and spent the first six years of the company selling the product at malls, trade shows, and state fairs. In 2011, My Pillow sells skyrocketed after its first infomercial. Over the next 12 months, he sold $100 million worth of pillows and generates $280 million in revenue per year.

He created the Lindell Foundation, a faith-based foundation originally started to help addicts and My Pillow employees. The Lindell Foundation had a soft launch nationwide in August 2017, with a special project to help Hurricane Harvey victims. Also, he created the Lindell Recovery Network which was founded by Lindell to “bring hope, recovery, and mentorship” to those struggling with drug addictions. The Lindell Recovery Network was highlighted in an October 24, 2018, Opioid Crisis meeting hosted by President Trump at the White House.

Share This article

About The Author

The 700

The 700 Club is a live television program that airs each weekday. It is produced before a studio audience at the broadcast facilities of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in Virginia Beach, Virginia. On the air continuously since 1966, it is one of the longest-running programs in broadcast history. The program is hosted by Pat Robertson, Terry Meeuwsen, and Gordon Robertson, with news anchor John Jessup. The 700 Club is a mix of news and commentary, interviews, feature stories, and Christian ministry. The 700 Club can be seen in 96 percent of the homes in the U.S. and is carried on