I recently listened to the book, What are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO. It is the story of Mike Lindell’s insane journey through life. Mike Lindell was how a smart guy who did terrible in school, had a ton of insecurities, addicted himself to crack and gambling, and yet was able to overcome those vices and find a way to provide something of value to the world through the marketplace with his invention of My Pillow.
It’s an inspiring story. It’s is a story that makes me wonder if being a successful entrepreneur requires a person to be a bit crazy. That is certainly a theme that I’ve come across while reading biographies and autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs. While other people believed they were crazy, they kept on forging ahead with their ideas.
Mike is a good storyteller, and he has plenty of them. It is hard to believe he is still alive after all he’s been through. He spent many years choosing to cover up his insecurities and personality shortcomings with the cheap thrill of crack/cocaine while running a local bar in Shakopee Minnesota.
He’d go without sleep for up to 14 days while on crack. Finally, his dealer refused to sell to him. After 14 days without sleep, his dealer thought he looked like shit and took a picture of Mike to show him. His dealer also told the other dealers in the area not to sell to Mike until he’d got some rest. Mike was so charismatic, that even his dealer was watching out for him. This started Mike’s path to giving up crack/cocaine, and instead started working to improve himself.
Mike shares a ton of strange fortunate coincidences which he attributes to God watching out for him. He believes that God had been calling out to him for a long time during his life, asking him to follow a different path. He shares some stories that tend to make one wonder if there was in fact some benevolent being looking after him.
The book is definitely worth a read/listen. The tale of how he invented My Pillow and began manufacturing it in his home by using an old-fashioned piece of farm equipment is a fascinating story by itself.
I’ve reached out to Mike and asked him to come on my podcast to discuss his life with me further. He hasn’t gotten back to me yet, but I’ll keep trying. I’m thinking I’ll use the Crash.co approach and send him a pitch along with a personalized video to see if that will pique his interest.