Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity because our creativity is ignited through the challenges we face, and we invent something ingenious.
Well, if you have ever listened to the stories of self-made millionaires, some are too good to be true; some will talk of how they hit rock bottom before finding their way to the top.
This is the same tale that one entrepreneur shares. He has scrapped the bottom of the barrel, but today he dines with the high and mighty because Mike Lindell's net worth is now $100 million. Let's see how he rose to become a millionaire.
Becoming the Odd Duck
Lindell as a child, perhaps never thought things would turn out as they did. According to Medium, he was born into a normal family startup, but at the age of seven, his parents divorced.
He had hardly come to terms with the abrupt changes when his family moved to a new city, and he had to attend a new school. Without any friends, Lindell became shy and withdrawn.
He, however, learned that he needed to draw attention towards him to avoid being bullied. So he ended up pulling off crazy stunts like jumping off a moving bus. Fortunately, he lived to tell the tale.
By the time Lindell graduated high school, the need to fit in had seen him start drinking alcohol. He was admitted to the University of Minnesota, but studying was the last thing on his mind, so he attended class twice a semester. His priority was making money. So Lindell got a job at a grocery store and a drive-in movie theater.
Fired From His Job
However, even being a good employee was not his strong suit, so he was fired from his job. His manager told him that if he did not want to follow the rules, then Lindell should start his own company, so he followed the manager's advice.
According to CNBC, in 1980, after seeing his sister's apartment flooded, Lindell decided to start a carpet cleaning service. At 22, he tried being a professional card counter but was thrown out of a casino.
He was disappointed, but he did not give up, so he set up a pig rearing business in the residential estate he lived in, but the pigs broke out of their pen.
He heard about how lunch wagons were lucrative in California and wanted to try it out; he began by giving away free sandwiches for an entire week. Eventually, he became a bartender and owned a bar and restaurant.
Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
By the time Lindell attending the five-year school reunion, he was an alcoholic. According to Fox News, while his former schoolmates talked about how well they were doing in their marriages and jobs, Lindell could only share about owning money to the mafia.
Once again, his need to draw attention and impress his peers made him talk about an instance when he jumped out of an airplane and the parachute partially opened.
However, deep inside, he envied what his former schoolmates had. To numb the pain of dealing with reality, he added cocaine to his list of drugs of choice. Still, not all hope was lost in becoming an entrepreneur. Lindell recalled that he had always wanted a nice pillow; in 1977, he had problems sleeping solely because of his pillow, so he spent $70 buying one.
By 2004, already addicted to cocaine, he dreamed of a pillow that would hold its shape, and when he woke up, he saw "My Pillow" written everywhere in the house. He felt it was God's way of telling him which business was good to start.
Pillow Making Began
So, without prior experience in pillow making, Lindell and his son Darren began making pillows from foam. His attempt to supply to Bed, Bath, and Beyond failed, so he set up a kiosk using a $15,000 loan.
That Christmas, he sold 80 pillows and got a regular customer who owned a local home show, so his pillows gained market. While being addicted to cocaine was bad enough, by 2008, he had shifted to crack cocaine, and he lost his house, marriage and almost shut down his business.
He was awake for 14 days using cocaine because he did not want to sleep and wake up to reality. Three of the biggest drug dealers felt enough was enough and held an intervention for Lindell, telling all the dealers not to sell to him. They even had one of them babysit him to ensure he did not run to search for cocaine.
Another took a picture of Lindell capturing the entrepreneur looking his worst, with messy hair. The dealer told Lindell that it would be used in the book that the addict wanted to write.
Odd Duck Becomes Swan
The game-changer came when a friend he had done cocaine with visited him saying the Lord had sent him. On January 16, 2009, he prayed to God to take away the desire to do drugs, and since then, he has been sober.
According to Salvation Army, from that moment, his business took off, and he says it was miracle after miracle; the first being a $30,000 loan without collateral which he used to make 500 pillows and sold all of them.
However, the actual turning point in MyPillow was in 2011 when he had an infomercial that needed pooling $300,000 from family and friends. After it was aired, the business went from five employees to 500, then to 1500.
By 2017 after eight years of sobriety, he had spent $100 million on infomercials; they were well worth it because his net worth had grown to $300 million after selling over 40 million pillows worldwide.
However, he told Film Daily he had made a few blunders that have cost him. For instance, he lost 20 retailers, and it cost him $65 million. He also pushed for oleandrin as an effective treatment against coronavirus and filed a defamation lawsuit accusing Dominion Voting Systems of rigging the 2020 elections. For this reason, Lindell's net worth has gone down to $100 million.
You can also read:
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee