5 Lessons Learned From Raising $50k And Building A School For Children...

5 Lessons Learned From Raising $50k And Building A School For Children In Laos

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Laos School Children Pencils Of Promise
Image Credit: Gerry Kerr

At the end of last year, the Addicted2Success community went beyond learning about personal development and entrepreneurship, and raised $50,000 USD through Pencils of Promise. It was time to see what we all could achieve together.

Led by Joel Brown’s generosity, we all reached into our pockets and decided to be bold. We went on social media and tirelessly promoted the campaign. We spread the message to everyone we knew without caring whether they thought we were crazy or not.

Every day we have the opportunity to do something for someone else without being asked to. Don’t wait to be asked, just go and support a cause you believe in without seeking anything in return. The more you give of yourself, the more you become, and the more you grow.

The five lessons you can learn from what the Addicted2Succes community did, through building a school in Laos are:

 

1. Each of us becomes inspired

When we see communities get together to create change, it inspires each of us individually. Raising money for a school in Laos demonstrates that ripple effects can be created from these positive events. People who sat by and watched our campaign occur on Pencils Of Promise without joining in were still inspired.

“For purpose campaigns cause a ripple effect in the world that somewhere along the line will create a tidal wave of positivity” – Tim Denning

Some of those people who didn’t join in, have since told me that what the A2S community did has inspired them to see what they can do themselves. It has shown people that anyone from anywhere can do something good for complete strangers.

No amount of success will give you the feeling you’re looking for unless you inspire other people. For purpose causes like our Pencils Of Promise campaign seem to inspire an astonishing number of people on social media.

Every time I talk about building a school in Laos on any of the social media platforms, these posts seem to spread like wildfire. The reason is that people just want to be inspired. When life is not going so well, all each of us really needs is an event like this one to lift us out of a rut.

By reading the story, there is no possible way you could not feel good about what we have all achieved. Don’t let the story end here. Inspiration without action is pointless. What can you do to create positive change in the world and replicate the impact of our Pencils Of Promise Campaign?

 

2. Money is not the only currency

Again, with Joel leading the way, outside of his own generous donations, he showed all of us that money is not the only currency. If you don’t have the money to impact and inspire others, then you can always use your skills and talent.

Joel used his skills to provide value to other people and then all he asked in return was for them to donate some money to the A2S campaign. This worked really well, and it’s a strategy that all of us can use to create more positivity and prosperity in the world.

 

3. Children are given a chance to dream

What you can learn from the A2S campaign is that giving money to build a school is not about the construction of a building as such; it’s about the chance to let children dream. A comfortable and safe environment to learn is the enabler to allow children who have nothing, to dream.

It’s an educational demonstration to the Laos children that people care and that the universe wants them to succeed. It shows the children the power that entrepreneurs can have in making a difference.

If a simple blog about personal development and entrepreneurship, created by a man from Perth named Joel Brown, using a free tool like WordPress, can grow to millions of followers and raise $50,000 USD to build a school, then what else might be possible?

 

4. Four walls and a washroom can be more powerful than we think

When you break it down, the money that we raised is enabling the local community in Laos to construct four walls and a washroom. The structure is incredibly simple, yet its impact is widespread. It’s inspiring the local community, the country of Laos, and all the countries including Australia and the USA that helped raise the $50,000.

The four walls and the washroom allow the children to be inside together, away from the weather, to learn about what their life’s purpose will become. Over their time at the school, they will learn all the skills to create their own success, and they will have many mentors, and members of the A2S community visit them.

“Many of us sit at home amongst our own four walls and next to our washroom, and we think that we are not enough”

We fall for the myth that we need all these shiny new things if we ever want to be successful. We somehow think that we don’t have the resources to start something of our own and that we can never have an impact.

This is not true. By seeing what the A2S community has done it should be obvious to you by now that you are more powerful than you think. It’s not about you individually it’s about how you can lead a group of people to do something that matters like Joel has.

The children are not the only people that benefit from this new school; the local village benefits too. When Pencils Of Promise raise money to build a school, they allow the local village in the area to physically build the structure. This gives the townspeople valuable work experience.

Often it’s the workers building the school whose children get to attend once it’s finished. It demonstrates to the construction workers that their hard work can also create good in the world and that they are more influential than they think.

It teaches the construction workers to work as a team and trust one another rather than resort to violence to solve challenges. When the school is finished, these workers get to watch their kids go to school each day and know that they enabled this to happen.

Even after the children finish school, the construction workers get to see the next generation get the benefit from their labor of love. The flow on effects from building a school like this reach so far and wide it’s hard to cover all the areas affected in one blog post.

Pencils Of Promise Founder Adam Braun And Joel Brown
The school funded by the Addicted2Success Community being built

 

5. Entrepreneurs unite

The majority of the contributors to this A2S Pencils Of Promise campaign were entrepreneurs. The goal of entrepreneurship is to build products and services that make the world better in some small way.

It’s then the goal of entrepreneurship to take these resources (money) and use them to help other people in developing countries to do the same. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to become isolated and get lost in your own business.

What our campaign did was unite entrepreneurs all around the globe to get together for a common cause. Companies like Microsoft got involved and showed that even though they have been around for decades, they too can still make a change.

I personally learned that when entrepreneurs collectively put their energy towards something, success can be achieved a lot faster. The A2S campaign was only running for a matter of weeks, and we doubled our target, and our impact without even trying.

What have you learned from our campaign? What good can you do in the world? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
Tim Denning is a former entrepreneur turned intrapreneur, working daily with fast-moving tech companies. He is passionate about what makes startups successful and is a thought leader/ game changer via the use of social media. Tim uses personal development and success as a platform for greatness. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook and Twitter.

6 COMMENTS

  1. That was an amazing story and I quite still hardly believe you guys actually did that! I know little about Laos but I know there are many hard things in this little country which makes this deed even more incredible.

    There are lots of things to learn and be inspired from, and I found another great example in this quote: ‘Many of us sit at home amongst our own four walls and next to our washroom, and we think that we are not enough’. Well isn’t that a beautiful truth? For a few weeks I lived without a hot water and was limited to have a warm showers. Even though I benefited from taking cold showers every single day, still sometimes you just not mentally prepared to do it all the time and after hard day at work, and should I mention the weather wasn’t that good, you just want some warm and relaxing water upon your skin rather than another chilling experience? 😀 When the hot running water got back I was extremely grateful and realized how actually cool and awesome it is to have an opportunity take any showers every day and be able even have the running water at all, as there are many places around the world that badly missing it!

    I woke up today very early and feeling unispired, but now reading this article and remembering my water experience I yet again realized I am good and life is giving me a lot of reasons to be happy and a lot of things to be grateful for. You just need to remind youself everysingle day about it and be open.

    Thank you for making my morning, Tim, and for all the incredible work you have done. You’re an amazing person and I am just grateful for the opportunity to learn from you 🙂

    • Toño thanks for sharing your thoughts. The cold shower story you spoke of has also affected me. At one stage, one of my friends was talking about the power of waking up and having a cold shower every day no matter what the temperature is outside. Tony Robbins is also a big fan of jumping into a cold pool or river every morning rather than a hot shower.

      I have to admit that i tried the whole cold shower thing and failed badly. I just don’t have the self-control – not yet any way 🙂

      It’s a pleasure reading your feedback as always Toño and I am very humbled.

  2. “The more you give of yourself, the more you become, and the more you grow….If a simple blog about personal development and entrepreneurship, created by a man from Perth named Joel Brown, using a free tool like WordPress, can grow to millions of followers and raise $50,000 USD to build a school, then what else might be possible?”

    Those words sent chills down my spine! How inspiring! I am determined to leave the world better than I found it. Every day I challenge myself to try something new or do something that I’m too afraid to do in order to tap into more potential. The more you go outside of your comfort zone, the closer you can get to your purpose zone and impact more people than you ever expected.

    You are right! We are more powerful than we think. Thanks for another inspiring article!

  3. This was truly an inspiration. To hear about the positive things that people are trying to bring into the world is a great thing because their is so much negativity that can hold many of us back from the opportunities that may be in front of us. Recently hearing about the Orlando, Florida incident led me to tears and it is wonderful to hear about something positive. I think more people in the position of power who can make a difference should lead the way to change around the world. Great job to you both.

    • Lawrence thanks for sharing your thoughts. Tragedy happens every day but we need to focus on the solutions not the problems of the world. I like to spend my time on goodnewsnetwork.org to find out what is really happening without all the negative spin. Suss it out.

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