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The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change | [Adam Braun]

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just 16 years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling as a college student, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, "A pencil." This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave a prestigious job at Bain & Company to start with just $25 at the age of 24.
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Publisher's Summary

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just 16 years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling as a college student, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, "A pencil."

This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave a prestigious job at Bain & Company to start with just $25 at the age of 24. Using his unique "for-purpose" approach, he helped redefine the space in which business, philanthropy, and social media intersect. And a mere five years later, Pencils of Promise has now built more than 200 schools around the world, proving that anyone can create a movement that matters.

The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey through more than 50 countries to find his calling, as each chapter explains the steps that every person can take to ignite their own passion and potential. His trailblazing story takes listeners behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give listeners the tools to unlock their own extraordinary journey of self-discovery.

If you have ever wanted a more purpose-driven life, if you have ever felt like you could become more than your current circumstances allow, it’s time to ask yourself, "What do I want most in the world?" And through the lessons shared in this book, turn those ideas into reality.

©2014 Colleen Hoover (P)2014 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (116 )
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  •  
    Alaa 04-18-15
    Alaa 04-18-15
    ratings
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    Story
    "Extraordinary story that will move you!"

    Inspiring story that "turns your intentions into actions". I've enjoyed hearing the book and helped me to organize my plan and hope for my dream to be accomplished one day.
    Thank you Adam and thank you Kirby

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly 04-11-15
    Holly 04-11-15
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    1
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    Story
    "Wow. Inspirational."

    Soooo worth the "read". I cried, got chills, inspired and so much more.... Great story. Braun's really are different, great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugh Vail 03-13-15
    Hugh Vail 03-13-15

    Hugh Vail

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    4
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    "Wow!"

    A book that provides the needed faith to follow the voice inside our hearts and minds to bless one another through the individual work we all have to accomplish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 02-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Nice to see Milenniums portrayed as altruistic"

    This is an inspiring story and also reads like a business primer. I wasn't crazy about the narration. The intro and epilogue by Adam Braun were the best parts of the audio. I love the message that young people are powerful forces for social change. Heartfelt story. Love that all profits go to the organization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew J Clark Valencia, CA United States 02-01-15
    Andrew J Clark Valencia, CA United States 02-01-15 Member Since 2015

    Writer of the BookClark blog. First got drawn in to audiobooks by Jim Dale. I read everything from literary fiction to history to memoirs.

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    "Great premise, okay execution"

    We often hear about the plight of people in developing regions of the world, but seldom do people actually do something about it. Braun, to his credit, did something and launched Pencils of Promise, a charity dedicated to building schools in impoverished regions of the world. He takes readers from New York to Laos to Central America to Ghana and back again as he grows his charity. A hybrid of memoir, travel and business writing, the book tries to cater to multiple audiences.

    I had a couple of issues with the book. First, the subtitle usage of 'Ordinary Person' is a huge stretch considering Braun previously worked at Bain and Company as a business consultant before starting PoP and was Ivy League-educated at Brown. He may have started very small, but he used the business management skills he learned from Bain to rapidly grow his charity to where it is now. Second, the book has multiple sections that can come across to some readers as self-congratulatory.

    Despite the noted flaws, it's a good book about getting people involved in a cause. If it motivates people to donate to charities that operate in developing countries, than I'm thrilled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mystica Ft worth, TX, United States 12-02-14
    mystica Ft worth, TX, United States 12-02-14
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    "Intriguing"

    Adam really worked hard to make his dream/s happen. All of the lives that this man has touched and changed is nothing less than remarkable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Goess New York, NY 08-17-14
    D. Goess New York, NY 08-17-14
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    "Brilliant and Inspiring!"
    Where does The Promise of a Pencil rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the book that lured me in!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Quick and easy read, very informative and heart felt. Truly inspiring!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All of it. I love how he labels each chapter with a mantra.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 06-27-14
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2014

    Jonnie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Good beginning, weak ending"

    When Adam was finding himself and his work founding and building PoP the story was engaging and interesting. It made you feel like you were participating in something worthwhile. The latter part of the book when he is established feels like a promo for his success in which he has to mention all his celebrity contacts on and on. It's like the balloon popped and when will this ever end. PoP is doing a great job and Adam is to be commended. It just sounds too self-congratulatory during the last third to fourth of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al San Francisco, CA 05-26-14
    Al San Francisco, CA 05-26-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent work on humanitarian work"

    Great lessons on enterpreneurship, life and charity. A must read for everyone to read and measure one's life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Mora 05-21-14
    Sandra Mora 05-21-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "You say you cannot change the world? Read this!"
    Where does The Promise of a Pencil rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Promise of a Pencil?

    All of the chapters (mantras) were extremely uplifting, inspirational and emotional for me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Adam gave the first pencil to a little boy in India; The lighning moment when the idea of "Pencils of Promise" first came into his mind; Adam showing his grandma the first school he built in her honor... And so many others! I burst into tears of emotion so many times!


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Promise of a Pencil?

    Anyone can change the world with small acts of kindness that can become massive game changers to improve the world and make it a better place.


    Any additional comments?

    Adam Braun is one of my heroes. Hearing his story it was clear for me that no one has a good reason not to follow their dreams and change the world. The "For pourpose" approach for social entrepeneurship blew my mind and got me actually defining my own project. The way he opened so many doors and inspired others to make his dream their own is totally awesome. I'm so thankful for him and for finding this great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Lyra
    Northampton, United Kingdom
    2/7/15
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    "Truly inspiring"

    Adam Braun takes you on a journey that is full of amazement and heart warming inspiration. What he achieved through an unrelenting belief in a purpose and slit of hard work is nothing short of incredible.

    I dare anyone to read this and not be touched and driven to want to join the movement!

    Thanks Adam, you have helped me see what it possible when you believe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A personal passion became an life changing charity"

    A very engaging book following the full journey of PoP from conception to establishment. Nothing is left out from the initial feverous motivation to get PoP off the ground the the honest growing pains of realising maybe the idea is bigger than you.
    This book should be in any small business owners toolkit. The lessons of not being afraid to see help and advice is honest and heartfelt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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