What is TheChocolateLife?

Children of cocoa farmers, Barlovento region of Miranda State, Venezuela, 2006 accompanying Shawn Askinosie on his first bean buying trip.

The name was inspired by a song I heard on the radio. It's has evolved into a philosophy about passion, work, and life

The idea for TheChocolateLife was inspired by a Ricky Martin song I heard one day back sometime in 2007 or thereabouts while I was out and about running errands and listening to the radio in the car.Try, if you can, to imagine me driving around with the window rolled down belting out at the top of my lungs (and probably off–key and not in tune):

Upside inside out
She's livin' la vida loca
She'll push and pull you down
Livin' la vida loca
Her lips are devil red
And her skin's the color of mocha
She will wear you out
Livin' la vida cocoa
She's livin' la vida cocoa

When I got back to my office I registered the domain name lavidacocoa.com, which I still have. A short while later I realized I should probably also register a version in English, and that’s how The Chocolate Life (and thechocolatelife.com) came to be.

It’s been more than a decade since I started TheChocolateLife as a means to crowdsource finding answers to questions about cocoa and chocolate. Over the course of that decade TheChocolateLife has grown to include about 10,000 members in over 160 countries. More personally, it’s grown to become a metaphor for:

  1. Connecting with something you are truly passionate about;
  2. Using that connection to drive growth (personal, professional, spiritual); and
  3. Inspiring others to find and follow their own ChocolateLife — whatever their passion may be, and wherever it leads them.

That third point has become the most important aspect for me, and it's a pleasure and a privilege to know that my following my ChocolateLife since 1994 has inspired people around the world to grab hold of a passion and make it a driving force for growth and positive change in their own lives.

Thank you all for giving me that opportunity.

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