Meaningful Work with Shawn Askinosie Episode #156

Aaron McHugh


My conversation with Shawn took a couple of fun twists and turns from business to faith and practical advice on how to embrace our personal quest of finding meaningful work.

Meaningful Work is not a book about “saving the world”— but it is about how businesses can and should solve problems in the world, and how positive change begins with individual action.

Shawn’s new book A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling and Feed Your Soul

Shout Out’s for Shawn’s Meaningful Work

“This is a groundbreaking book, a book that will change the way you see the world. It’s about far more than chocolate. Shawn and Lawren have shared the wisdom of the ages, a book about faith, fairness and love. A must read.”

—Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

“Meaningful Work is a beautiful and candid account of a brilliant entrepreneur’s journey to self-actualization—personal, professional, and spiritual—and the resulting birth of Askinosie Chocolate. Here is a family business that provides genuine meaning and soul-nourishing purpose to everyone in its path. Shawn Askinosie’s commitment to the welfare of his stakeholders—and their reciprocal devotion to the Askinosie mission—represents the height of achievement in purpose-driven business.”

— Danny Meyer, Founder and CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group, Author of the New York Times bestseller Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

“I have witnessed the evolution of Askinosie Chocolate. It has been a courageous journey which had to have been guided by a higher authority. This message is one for all of us who have a feeling or desire to do something we believe in and lay everything on the line to get there.”
Jack Stack, author of The Great Game of Business, founder and CEO of SRC Holdings.

“If you’re looking for help in making your work and life more meaningful, Shawn’s book is a must read.  If you’re already flourishing and feeling grounded in how you life is going…you’ll really want to read it.  And if you think you don’t need to hear his message, well, to paraphrase Shawn, you probably ought to read it twice!  Meaningful Work is a not-be-missed-inspiration for all of us!”
— Ari Weinzweig, co-founding partner, Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and author of Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4, the Power of Beliefs in Business

“If I were to begin the journey of social entrepreneurship all over again, I would do it with this book in one hand, and a bar of his finest chocolate in the other!”
— Andy Puddicombe, Co-founder of Headspace

Shawn Askinosie working with his team in the Philippines sourcing from local farmers

About Meaningful Work

In 2005, Shawn Askinosie left a successful career as a criminal defense lawyer to start a bean-to-bar chocolate factory and never looked back. Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch, award-winning chocolate factory located in Springfield, Missouri, sourcing 100% of their cocoa beans directly from farmers across the globe.

Recently named “One of the 25 Best Small Companies in America” by Forbes, Askinosie Chocolate was founded at the forefront of the American craft chocolate revolution and is regarded by many as a vanguard in the industry.

But other than the honestly sourced cocoa, what’s the secret of Askinosie Chocolate’s success, and is there more to it than creating some of the best chocolate in the world? As revealed in Meaningful Work, there is much more.

Meaningful Work’s essence

● For so many of us, work is a drain on our energy, physically and mentally. Wherever you are in your career and whatever you do, this book will help you create a work life that feeds and reflects on what is most important to you, providing a much-needed boost.

● This book is for entrepreneurs at heart or in practice—or both. Using the principles of integrated kinship, this book explains why your business can—and should—have a calling, and how to achieve it.

● “Success” no longer translates to “profitable” alone—it also encompasses happiness, purpose, and community. Meaningful Work explores the idea that more is not enough, but work worth doing is.

● Despite their inclination, most entrepreneurs are skeptical that their business can have a purpose beyond making a profit; they think they’re too small or there’s not enough net income. “When we have more [fill in the blank] then we will be able to do it.” There’s no need to wait for your business to live out a calling and Shawn shows the reader how to begin now.

● “Reverse scale” is the term Shawn coined for his business philosophy: not to get bigger, but to get better at staying small. This is the secret to the flow of a business living out its vocation; it also allows the hearts of everyone within the organization to be continually transformed.

● Meaningful Work encourages and inspires entrepreneurs to take the leap from intentional contemplation to purposeful action with concrete steps leading to personal and business vocations

Shawn Askinosie Meaningful Work

About Shawn Askinosie

Shawn Askinosie is the founder of Askinosie Chocolate. Lawren Askinosie, his daughter, is the Chief Marketing Officer. Their business model has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on Bloomberg and numerous other media outlets. Shawn was named by O, The Oprah Magazine, as “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.” He is a Family Brother at Assumption Abbey, a Trappist monastery near Ava, Missouri.

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