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Publisher's Summary

The founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, an award-winning craft chocolate factory, shows listeners 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 percent 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 listeners 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. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2017 Shawn Askinosie and Lawren Askinosie (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 best seller 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) 

What listeners say about Meaningful Work

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This isn’t just a business book. It is a life book

Would you listen to Meaningful Work again? Why?

I already have twice in two weeks. There is so much in this book.As the founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, a small business based in Springfield, Missouri, Shawn’s chocolate is world-renowned and award winning. But this book isn’t about chocolate, it’s about chocolate. (something that you’ll understand once you’ve read it).You see, the way Shawn does business is the way it should be taught in business school. Shawn’s beautiful business model is all about direct trade with farmers of coco beans in the Philippines, Tanzania and Ecuador, about open book management, profit sharing, reverse scale, kinship and community.Shawn tells stories of how his company sustainably feeds thousands of children who were once malnourished, without donations, simply giving money or charity. He talks about the notion of enough, and to ask ourselves, “What is enough”. That individually and in business is it easy to get caught up in the striving for more, but enough is where we can do the work we love with people we love.Shawn also writes about and guides you through a visioning exercise. It is something that he does, and something that he has his chocolate university students, his farmers, and the school students he works with in other countries do. It is powerful and if you want to create personal change in your life, I recommend you do it as well.

What about Shawn Askinosie’s performance did you like?

I loved hearing Shawn narrate each word and tell his story. I couldn't wait to get back in the car again to hear what was next.

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderful book written by beautiful human who has crafted a way to do meaningful business and live life with love and passion.

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  • WriteSingLovely
  • 12-05-2020

Great insight to running a meaningful business!

I absolutely love this book. It's a great example of running a business with great meaning and excellence.

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  • Megan
  • 10-09-2018

Love love loved the book

Askinosie invites us on the journey to punctuate being and becoming with meaningful work. Great read for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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  • Richonette
  • 15-01-2018

Excellent life lessons

Thank you for not just telling us how to write your vocation and life rule, but how to apply it daily.

Great book for anyone wanting to write their own vocation not just entrepreneurs.

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  • NikSiv
  • 14-01-2018

Brilliant!

I learned more from this book than I have in my 45 years of life. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. I don’t own a company but I work for a company that I treat as if it is my company. I can’t wait to apply the concepts in this book to my everyday life and work life! Thank you Shawn for sharing your work and personal life with the world. If everyone followed these practical practices the world would be a different place.

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