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

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The riveting story of how a young man turned $25 into more than 200 schools around the world and the guiding steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life.

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “A pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving one of the world’s most prestigious jobs to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 200 schools around the world.

The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey to find his calling, as each chapter explains one clear step that every person can take to turn your biggest ambitions into reality, even if you start with as little as $25. His story takes readers 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 you the tools to make your own life a story worth telling.

*All proceeds from this book will support Pencils of Promise.
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About the author

Adam Braun is the Founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning for-purpose organization that has built more than 200 schools across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and delivered over 30 million educational hours to children in poverty. PoP was founded with just $25 and has grown under Braun’s stewardship with his unique approach that blends nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. He has been a featured speaker at the White House, Clinton Global Initiative, and United Nations. All proceeds from The Promise of a Pencil will go to support Pencils of Promise.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 18, 2014
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781476730646
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Motivational
Business & Economics / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / General
Education / Organizations & Institutions
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the tradition of Kabul Beauty School and Start Something That Matters comes an inspiring story of social entrepreneurship from the co-founder of Kiva, the first online microlending platform for the working poor. Featuring lessons learned from successful businesses in the world’s poorest countries, Jessica Jackley’s Clay Water Brick will motivate readers to more deeply appreciate the incredible entrepreneurial potential that exists in every human being on this planet—especially themselves.

“The heart of entrepreneurship is never about what we have. It’s about what we do.”
 
Meet Patrick, who had next to nothing and started a thriving business using just the ground beneath his feet . . .
 
Blessing, who built her shop right in the middle of the road, refusing to take the chance that her customers might pass her by . . .
 
Constance, who cornered the banana market in her African village with her big personality and sense of mission.
 
Patrick, Blessing, Constance, and many others are among the poorest of the world’s poor. And yet they each had crucial lessons to teach Jessica Jackley—lessons about resilience, creativity, perseverance, and, above all, entrepreneurship.
 
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In Clay Water Brick, Jackley challenges readers to embrace entrepreneurship as a powerful force for change in the world. She shares her own story of founding Kiva with little more than a laptop and a dream, and the stories and the lessons she has learned from those across the globe who are doing the most with the least.
 
Praise for Clay Water Brick
 
“Jessica Jackley didn’t wait for permission to change the world—she just did it. It turns out that you can too.”—Seth Godin, author of What to Do When It’s Your Turn
 
“Fascinating . . . gripping . . . bursting with lessons . . . Jessica Jackley has written a remarkable book . . . so thoroughly well meaning and engagingly put it is too magnetic to put down.”—Financial Times

“Clay Water Brick is a tremendously inspiring read. Jessica Jackley, the virtuoso co-founder of the revolutionary microlending platform Kiva, shares uplifting stories and compelling lessons on entrepreneurship, resilience, and character.”—Adam Grant, author of Give and Take
 
“A blueprint for anyone who wants to make the world a better place and find fulfillment in the process, no matter how scarce their resources or how steep the challenge.”—Arianna Huffington

“This book is inspirational. And honest and practical. . . . Well written, thoughtful: a selfless account of how to succeed by doing right and following your heart.”—Booklist
Why are some people able to make positive change while others remain the same? 

In his international bestseller, The Happiness Advantage, Harvard trained researcher Shawn Achor described why happiness is the precursor to greater success. This book is about what comes before both. Because before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. Only once we learn to see the world through a more positive lens can we summon all our motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve our personal and professional goals.

In Before Happiness, Achor reveals five actionable, proven strategies for changing our lens to positive:
 
- The Most Valuable Reality: See a broader range of ideas and solutions by changing the details on which your brain chooses to focus 
- Success Mapping: Set goals oriented around the things in life that matter to you most, whether career advancement or family or making a difference in the world
- The X-spot: Use success accelerants to propel you more quickly towards those goals, whether finishing a marathon, reaching a sales target, learning a language, or losing 10 pounds
- Noise-Canceling: Boost the signal pointing you to opportunities and possibilities that others miss
- Positive Inception: Transfer these skills to your team, your employees, and everyone around you 
 
By mastering these strategies, you’ll create an renewable source of positivity, motivation, and engagement that will allow you to reach your fullest potential in everything you do.
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