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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

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What listeners say about The Promise of a Pencil

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Ignore negative reviews

This book was such a great listen. I would easily say it's one of my favorite biography to have read

3 people found this helpful

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Promise of hope.

Engaging, insightful and hopeful. I wish all people had the drive passion and determination to create this kind of change in our world.

3 people found this helpful

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Not Read By the Author

The story would have been more compelling had it been read by the author. My favorite chapter was the last when I could hear the compassion and drive in the author’s voice. That’s just not delivered throughout the book. Something gets lost. Thank you for your work!

1 person found this helpful

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Ready to change the world!

This inspiring story raises the bar in the readers to reach for their dreams and anyone can make a difference.

1 person found this helpful

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Life changing

Would you listen to The Promise of a Pencil again? Why?

I've already listen to the book twice, there's always some wisdom or just some complement of information I like to get on the second read. This book has resulted in a life change for me because it made me realize further more that you make your dream job, it does not come to you. Also it's another example that you don't have to be only one thing, you can be more than a teacher, an economist, a lawyer...

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene is definitely when the author sits down with his grand mother to tell her about the first school.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

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life Changing Read

excellent and engaging story that will inspire you to live for purpose. don't miss this!

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Beautiful story

The story was great, inspiring, compassionate, and courageous. The moderator was monotone and made it really challenging to complete the book, I almost gave up on it several times but so glad I stayed on with it. Thank you for sharing.

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Eyes opening. A guide to find one’s life purpose

Great book. Great story. This is an inspirational story to show all of us that we can do it. That we can make this world a better place.

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Insightful Book for Entrepreneurs

Great book for anyone looking to make a difference in the world. It helped open my eyes to the many obstacles I may face in the future as my business continues to grow.

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  • A.Hewit
  • 12-01-15

Great book with great life lessons!

Absolutely loved this book. It highlights the way in which one single person can change the world for the better. Definitely worth a read and stick with it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lyra Culverhouse
  • 02-07-15

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.

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  • Lee
  • 05-12-14

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 09-27-18

Absolutely Beautiful

I enjoyed listening to this book. The story was engaging and I loved the narrator. I could resonate with Adam's values. His journey in making a difference has inspired me to do the same. While I try to find my path, I will be coming back to this book to keep me going when I falter. Thank you, Adam, for a truly stunning story.

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  • janemitc
  • 04-15-16

Great read

Really great overview and story of how he founded POP. Inspiring! Must read book for anyone