The Guy Who Quit His High-Paying Job to Change the World

Adam Braun had everything he needed: a job on Wall Street, an apartment, and the opportunity to go on a round-the-world trip. But everyone has their own path to happiness. And after meeting a poor boy in India who only dreamed of having a pencil, Adam’s world was turned upside down.

Bright Side discovered the story of a man who quit his prestigious job to run a charitable company and wrote a book about his journey, called The Promise of a Pencil.

His wardrobe was full of solid business suits and on his business card was the name of a well-respected company. Adam graduated from an Ivy League university, worked in hedge funds, and wished to build a big-time career at Bain & Company. Even with all this, in the depths of his soul, the life that Adam wanted so much, had ceased to satisfy him. He realized that he had to go out and find his happiness. Do you know that feeling?

The first thing he did was leave his comfort zone. Adam traveled to India, Africa, and Vietnam. Suddenly, in India, his life began to change. It was there he met a begging boy who had never been to school. But the boy saw other kids writing with pencils, and his only wish was to have one for himself.

“What do you want most in the world?” -“A pencil.” Adam Braun

Adam Braun was shocked that this kid had never been to school. And then he realized that there are many children all over the globe in this same situation. Did you know that 263 million children and other youth don’t have access to a proper education?

Could something as small as a pencil, the foundation of an education, unlock a child`s potential? Adam Braun

Adam returned to the USA and established the non-commercial company, Pencils of Promise. He wanted to build the first school in Phatheng, South Africa. To fully immerse himself in the development of his new organization, Adam decided to quit his high-paying job.

“The biggest of dreams often start with small, unreasonable acts.” Adam Braun

This choice wasn’t easy. He studied the process, found knowledgeable people, and asked them to help and to share their knowledge with him. The school in Phatheng was opened, and another 300 followed worldwide.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Adam Braun

In his book, Adam, without embellishment, talks about all the complexities, doubts, and mistakes he faced. He describes in detail the whole life cycle of his organization — from a $25 bank account to the construction of the first school, to the creating of a large international team and the attraction of 6-figure sums from major benefactors. Today, Adam is the head of the charitable company called Pencils of Promise. They have created more than 300 schools around the world. During the last years, he has been included in the rating of Wired Magazine’s “50 People Who Changed The World,” and the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. He has even spoken at the United Nations, the White House, and the World Economic Forum.

Were you inspired by Adam Braun’s story? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Preview photo credit itsadambraun / Instagram, Pencils of Promise/Facebook