Driven By Podcast

29. Stay Out of The Trap with Shawn Askinosie

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My Guest this week is Shawn Askinosie. Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch, award-winning chocolate factory located in Springfield, Missouri. They source 100% of their beans directly from farmers. Shawn travels to Ecuador, the Philippines, and Tanzania to source cocoa beans for his chocolate. This allows the chocolate to be traced to the source and labeled authentic single origin. Their mission is to serve their farmers, their neighborhood, their customers, and each other. The company is currently sustainably feeding over 1,600 students per day in Tanzania and the Philippines without any donations. Askinosie Chocolate has also been featured in Forbes, NYTimes, WSJ, MSNBC, Oprah Magazine, and numerous others. Shawn has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Missouri- Columbia and Missouri State University. Askinosie Chocolate has received 3 Good Food Awards, considered the Oscars of food, 6 silver awards from the Specialty Food Association; and 7 International Chocolate Awards. During this episode, Shawn boldly opens up about changing careers, past experiences that shaped his future, threats of having a driven personality, simple living, strong relationships with his farmers in developing nations, facing dark seasons of life, marriage, changes of life, and more. This episode covers helpful insights, but more about life in its raw for and how to live it in a meaningful way. Available now- I hope you enjoy it!


0:28 My grandparents were huge inspirations to me in starting my chocolate business about 14 years ago, and they have long since died, but they were farmers, they were very kind, patient, sweet people, good hearts, lived a very simple life on a small farm, lived on that farm, same place for over 65 years

7:05 Some goals in terms of top line growth, but really it has more to do with cash flow and debt reduction and pay for people and stuff like that.

10:17 It’s been there and you’ve just seen it escalate or maybe as you’ve been given more opportunity or more blessing, however you would want to define that

11:18 The trap is, especially for hard-driving entrepreneurs, for people who have a social justice equality mindset, and what I mean is that if we’re not careful, we fall into the trap of overwork, and we tell ourselves for years that it’s okay and we justify this over work, because we see that the end result is good

16:24 I’ve been doing that for seven or eight years now in the mornings, and I rarely change it up, and that’s the first most practical thing

18:11 Which is how I begin my morning, and that really, I think, sets the tone

25:10 I made a ton of money, I was a sought after lawyer that I could pick my own cases, and so that level of quote, and I really do mean success prompted me to start asking this question, well, maybe I need to think about this hurt in my life, the sorrow, this heartbreak

27:40 Then this kind of paradox, this mystery occurred, which was this really tightly wound, hard-driven, hard-charging lawyer who had to know the answer to everything

31:40 It can be a very scary place, and I know you would probably say, Well, I didn’t really figure it all out, I didn’t have the seven-step process, but how are you able to kinda keep all the balls in the air, I guess, for those five years as you went through that season

39:12 I think is this that you described is a pathway, and so I would say that it doesn’t always have to be that way, but I think in the pathway of… Let’s call it in the pathway towards spiritual maturity that we need to experience those doorways, those pathways in order to reach an understanding that we don’t need those anymore in order to experience non-duality, so once we can reach a place of understanding and awareness of the non-dual nature of our soul.


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