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ITT 188 – Meaningful Work, Vocations, and Making Chocolate with Shawn Askinosie

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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 beans directly from farmers around the world. Recently named by Forbes “One of the 25 Best Small Companies in America”, Askinosie Chocolate has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on Bloomberg, MSNBC and numerous other national and international media outlets.

During today’s conversation, Shawn gives us a look behind the scenes of his business, how he started it from trial lawyer to chocolatier, and the ups and downs of what that process was like. We also discuss meaningful work and what Shawn the drive and passion to continue to do what he does even though it can be really really difficult. One of my major takeaways from today’s conversation is Shawn’s approach to business and his idea of reverse scale. We explore whether or not we can build a profitable business that aligns with our ethics and our morals and if that can be profitable for you.

In this broadcast, Shawn and I talk about:

  • How did Shawn pivot in his career choice
  • What did Shawn do in the beginning stages of his business
  • What were some of the biggest challenges Shawn faced
  • How did Shawn use his skills from being a lawyer in his chocolate business
  • Why does Shawn like being in a place of need
  • How does faith play a role in Shawn’s entrepreneurial journey
  • Why should entrepreneurs focus on kindness
  • How important is silence for your mindset
  • What does Shawn think of Social Entrepreneurship
  • What is scale and reverse scale
  • How does scale not necessarily equal value
  • What is Shawn’s exit plan

How to Connect with Shawn:

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