01 Dec 2016

Inside the Bestseller List with Neil Pasricha

by April White


Neil Pasricha (MBA 2007)
(photo via LinkedIn)

Neil Pasricha (MBA 2007) didn’t plan to become a writer. He was happy in his role as director of leadership development at Walmart Canada. But the first few years after graduation were difficult ones personally: His marriage ended, and a dear friend passed away. Pasricha started a blog, 1000 Awesome Things, “just as a way to put a smile on my face before I went to sleep every night.”

In fact, a lot of people smiled. A month after the blog launched, an ode Pasricha wrote to “old, dangerous playground equipment” went viral, and in 2009 the site won a coveted Webby Award. A book deal soon followed. The first Book of Awesome was a bestseller, with more than a million copies sold, and spawned a top-rated TED Talk and a series of books and other products such as calendars and journals.

There was more awesome: Pasricha met and married his new wife, and they now have two children. That led him to his next topic: happiness. “It was a 300-page letter to my unborn child,” Pasricha says of his new book, The Happiness Equation, another bestseller, which finds lessons in happiness in the varied wisdom of psychologists and Fortune 500 CEOs, literature, history, and pop culture.

Just recently, Pasricha left Walmart for the author’s life. It was a tough decision; he enjoyed his role there. He used concepts from The Happiness Equation—subtitled Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything—to help make the choice.

Return to The Year in Books 2016
Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2007, Section A
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