Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul

Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul

by Shawn Askinosie, Lawren Askinosie


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The founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, an award-winning craft chocolate factory, shows readers how he discovered the secret to purposeful work and business − and how we can too, no matter what work we do. 

Askinosie Chocolate is a small-batch, award winning chocolate company widely considered to be a vanguard in the industry. Known for sourcing 100% of his cocoa beans directly from farmers across the globe, Shawn Askinosie has pioneered direct trade and profit sharing in the craft chocolate industry with farmers in Tanzania, Ecuador, and the Philippines. In addition to developing relationships with smallholder farmers, the company also partners with schools in their origin communities to provide lunch to 1,600 children every day with no outside donations. Twenty-five years ago, Shawn Askinosie was a successful criminal defense lawyer trying his first murder death penalty case that would later go on to become a Dateline special. For many years he found law satisfying, but after several high profile trials he reached a breaking point and found solace in the search for a new career.

In this inspiring guide to discovering a vocation that feeds your heart and soul, Askinosie describes his quest to discover more meaningful work – a search that led him to volunteering in the palliative care wing of a hospital, to a Trappist monastery where he became inspired by the monks focus on “being” rather than “doing,” and eventually traipsing through jungles across the globe in search of excellent cocoa bean farmers to make award winning chocolate. Askinosie shares his hard-won insights into doing work that reflects one’s values and purpose in life. He shares with readers visioning tools that can be used in any industry or field to create a work life that is inspired and fulfilling. Askinosie shows us that everyone has the capacity to find meaning in their work and be a positive force for good in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143130314
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 414,599
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "Meaningful Work"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Shawn Askinosie.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Find Meaning in Your Work, or Else It Just Might Kill You 1

Chapter 2 Develop a Business Vocation, or Else It Just Might Kill Your Business 25

Chapter 3 How Much Is Enough? 62

Chapter 4 Essentials to Success 92

Chapter 5 Don't Scale, Reverse Scale 129

Chapter 6 A Rule of Life 151

Appendix A Breaking Down the Supply Chain Cycle: What Do Cocoa Farmers Actually Make? 187

Appendix B Askinosie Bean Purchase History 193

Appendix C Rule of Life 197

Acknowledgments 205

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Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Brett Miller 9 months ago
This is a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement, not only for those working to build better businesses and work life, but for the non-entrepreneurial among us who seek to inhabit the world in a counter-cultural way. I was most engaged by the ideas of trust, direct trade, reverse scale, and the true self. Not because they are novel strategies for the nimble organization in the postmodern marketplace, but because they animate the cry that wells up from within all of us, the calling to be more human and to cultivate more relationships that are intrinsically valuable, not just commodities whose worth is in the attention and wealth they can generate. Well done, Askinosies! Thanks for showing us what it’s all about – the chocolate!
Rebecca Sunde More than 1 year ago
Reading this book was like talking to a favorite mentor--one who is kind and insightful, who guides you without judgement and shares his ideas through great storytelling. Only Askinosie's aren't stories, they're his real-life experiences. Some are funny, some are gripping (he was a criminal defense attorney who tried several murder cases, after all), all are hopeful. I won't give anything away here, but his anecdotes alone make the book worthwhile. More practically speaking, Askinosie's writing on finding your vocation was an "aha" moment for me. I'm a "millennial" and a researcher at heart, and this has led to "analysis paralysis" in terms of my career and finding the next step. The hardest thing for me is taking the leap without knowing everything there is to know beforehand. Reading about Askinosie's own journey to finding his vocation while leaving his law career was strengthening and emboldening. It reminded me that I won't find the answer anywhere "out there." The answer is already inside; I just have to create the space to tap into it. (And fortunately, this book gave me some great ideas on how to do that!) I found "Meaningful Work" to be challenging in the best possible way. The lessons Askinosie shares are applicable to anyone in any field, from likeminded social entrepreneurs to CEOs of large corporations to stay-at-home moms. Askinosie's experiences are evidence that business--and life--are not zero-sum games. There's room for both head and heart in business, and they work together best when they share the same office. I couldn't help but imagine what the world would be like if more leaders were like Askinosie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One Heart at a Time In his book, Meaningful Work: a Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul, Shawn Askinosie pours his words of vocation, kinship, relationship, dignity, community, solitude, and of course, chocolate into every page. His poignant and personal writing makes this book important for every person, entrepreneur or otherwise. Shawn inspires businesses to have the courage to live out their unique vocations and to connect with the people they affect and influence. This book does not belong merely on your shelf. This book belongs in your heart and it belongs in the way you live your life. Shawn Askinosie and his vision of Askinosie Chocolate prove that businesses have the the capability to change the world in a radically small and personal way. One heart at a time.