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
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
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.
Writer of the BookClark blog. First got drawn in to audiobooks by Jim Dale. I read everything from literary fiction to history to memoirs.
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.
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.
This is the book that lured me in!
Quick and easy read, very informative and heart felt. Truly inspiring!
All of it. I love how he labels each chapter with a mantra.
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.
Great lessons on enterpreneurship, life and charity. A must read for everyone to read and measure one's life
All of the chapters (mantras) were extremely uplifting, inspirational and emotional for me.
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!
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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