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Mike Lindell’s Journey From Crack Addict to Pillow King

Finance By

Many successful people have rocky chapters in their lives. Few, however, have experienced quite this level of rockiness. Nor have they continued the chaos so late into adulthood. Quite simply, Mike Lindell—the so-called “Pillow King”—is not your average entrepreneur. This is demonstrated by many things, such as his willingness to discuss the time in 2008 one of his favorite crack dealers became so worried about his behavior he refused to sell him more crack until he got some sleep. (Lindell was 48 at the time and estimates he’d been up at least 14 and possibly as many as 19 straight days.)

You probably don’t recognize the name “Mike Lindell.” However, you likely know the face from his countless commercials. (We’ve included one below as a reminder.)

 

Lindell has opened up to Bloomberg‘s Josh Dean on his unexpected rise in the business world. (A rise that is not without controversy—more on that momentarily.) Dean reports:

“[Lindell] quit everything—alcohol, powdered cocaine, and crack—after one final party on Jan. 16, 2009, and presides over an empire that’s still growing precipitously. Last year, he opened a second factory, saw sales rise from $115 million to $280 million, and almost tripled his workforce, to 1,500. To date he’s sold more than 26 million pillows at $45 and up, a huge number of them directly to consumers who call and order by phone after seeing or hearing one of his inescapable TV and radio ads.”

While still battling his addiction, Lindell recalls telling his daughter: “I’m going to invent the best pillow the world has ever seen! It’s going to be called MyPillow!” (Her response was, understandably, “Dad, that’s really random.”)

Lindell decided this was a goal worth pursuing. He concluded the world’s best pillow would be a micro-adjustable one that still kept its form all night. While this invention ultimately made Lindell a rich man, creating it was a struggle. He was forced to borrow from virtually everyone he knew and occasionally raise money by counting cards at blackjack. (At least, until the casinos caught and banned him.)

As a bonus bit of the unexpected, Lindell wound up becoming a major supporter of Donald Trump as he reached the presidency. Lindell is currently working on his autobiography and says, “My book writer just had a pretty great line: ‘From the crack house to the White House!’”

To read more about the Pillow King, click here. Below, learn about Lindell’s battle with the Better Business Bureau over his “Buy One, Get One Free” claim in advertising.

—RealClearLife Staff