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Disrupt Yourself Podcast with Whitney Johnson

Oct 2, 2018

My guest today is Shawn Askinosie, the founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate and author of the number one Amazon best selling book, Meaningful Work: The Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul.

For Shawn Askinosie, picking a favorite kind of chocolate is like asking someone to pick a favorite child. His company, Askinosie Chocolate, sells 17 different chocolate bars, but when asked to pick just one he is at a complete loss.

“[I]t seems like the last place that I have been is my favorite…the people mean so much to me it’s hard to separate the people from the chocolate. And the hard work that they provide to make these beans what they are. So it’s hard. It’s hard for me.”

Shawn most recently returned from Tanzania, where he personally met with the chocolate farmers that produce the cocoa beans used in his factory. This is unusual in the chocolate world—larger companies (or “Big Cocoa” as Shawn refers to them) buy almost exclusively through a broker, resulting in local farmers receiving as little as $1 a day for their crops. Shawn knew that he needed a completely different business model: not to make a bigger profit, but a bigger impact.

This is an honest and beautiful conversation. If you enjoy it, please share it with someone who could learn from listening to Shawn. Takeaways and links from the show at