Greg Lindberg had it all. The outrageously successful career, industry respect, and all the material trappings of success a man could ask for. None of those, however, would be of any help for almost two years, after he was sentenced to federal prison for honest services wire fraud and bribery.
The charges were later dropped, and Lindberg was found to have been wrongfully convicted. Material wealth aside, Lindberg had something else that certainly came in handy while he was imprisoned — an open mind and an almost zen-like ability to find the meaning, the lesson, and the inspiration in any situation.
It’s the same ability he used to transform companies on the verge of collapse into soaring successes. The ability to not only see in the darkness but to shine a tremendously bright light directly into it. And boy, did he shine that light.
“My 633 days in a federal prison were the single most positive transformational event of my life,” Lindberg writes in 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership. “I turned around my health and regained some of my youth through the study of mitochondrial biogenesis. My gray hair literally turned red again, my memory improved, and my body now looks like I’m 10 years younger.”
Take a look at Lindberg’s story and some of the highlights of Chapter 1 of his inspirational new book, 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership.
Born Greg Evan Lindberg in San Mateo, California, in 1970, if Lindberg seems to have a keen sense of childlike optimism, there’s good reason for it — he’s the youngest of five children.
His family wasn’t very well off, but his parents worked hard. So much so that Lindberg had the privilege of being the first of his generation to attend college.
He earned a degree in economics from Yale, but during these formative years, Lindberg planted a seed that wouldn’t stop growing. At 21 years old, he read a medical newsletter and was shocked at the poor quality of the writing and the production.
He soon published “Home Care Week” newsletter in what seems to be an early example of his knack for transforming and improving. And in no time, it became a highly rated medical media resource. “Home Care Week” eventually evolved into Eli Research, the predecessor to Global Growth, the phenomenally successful business that Greg Lindberg built from the ground up.
Greg Lindberg was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 2020. The case and conviction were a heady mix of politics, personalities, and double standards, and many widely condemned the outcome. Finally, in 2022, Lindberg’s conviction was overturned by the federal appeals court. With a new trial set for 2023, though, things aren’t over.
Lindberg, ended up spending almost two years in prison. But he has an uncanny knack for looking at things in a very different light.
He wrote, “Any legal system that requires spending a fortune to defend yourself is not a legal system at all — it’s a prosecution system.”
A Deeper Dive Into Chapter 1 — Early Prison Days
Greg Lindberg’s inspiring and harrowing tale of his prison time begins with a long, personal letter to his loved ones. He wrote the introduction after his first year inside. It’s full of the details of prison life, but it’s not what readers would expect.
Lindberg sees the positive for every brutal rule and seemingly scary individual. He describes how he learned, thrived, and used his time inside for personal growth.
“I would not trade my prison experience for anything,” he wrote. “Yes, I sorely missed my family and friends. But the experience was a necessary part of my character development and a necessary part of my life plan.”
Home ‘Sweet’ Home
In Chapter 1, Lindberg describes his daily life behind bars and expresses the culture shock of his new home. He mentions his big house, yacht, and the stark contrast of his prison home.
The tiny cell, sharing a bathroom with 20 other inmates, and the terrifying feeling of not being comfortable in your own space.
“My first job in prison was cleaning toilets,” he wrote. “I had hoped to do something that allowed me to use my philosophy or economics degrees, or my experience starting and turning around companies, but instead I was a janitor.”
His new home for the next couple of hundred days would be something he eventually felt comfortable in, however. And Chapter 1 is a fascinating start to this journey of a man in a very foreign and scary environment.
A Job Is a Job
Lindberg describes in detail the jobs and chores he had. This included cleaning toilets, scrubbing floors, and every other menial type of dirty work you can think of.
His work ethic was a strong one. And instead of shying away from his prison chores, he dove in headfirst and worked as hard as he could, much to the surprise of other inmates.
“Some of my fellow inmates would say, ‘Lindberg, why are you working so hard?’ and I would answer, ‘I take pride in my work.’ This is true for me, regardless of what I do,” he wrote.
“There is no point in doing a job unless you give it everything you can. I believe that regardless of your position, you should show up and give it your best every day.”
The rest of the chapter is fascinating as Lindberg documents his journey to becoming accustomed to a life that many consider their greatest fear. For Greg Lindberg, however, there’s nothing that doesn’t include a lesson. And sometimes, the hardest lessons are the most effective.