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Faced with the prospect of starting over in your career, what would you do?

Most of us have had this experience at some point in our lives. This is an invaluable opportunity to thrive, but often the transition feels so daunting that it’s hard to know where to begin.

For a bit of perspective, join me at a potluck. Dozens of the most interesting people in the world will be there, and you’ll be bringing pie. You have three choices:

Bring a Bigger Pie

You’d like to make sure everyone gets a slice, so you call up the bakery the week before:

“What’s the largest pie you make there? Extra-Large? So, 30 inches across? Wow that’s some pie… Yeah, make mine apple, and I’ll pick it up on Friday morning. Thank you.”

Satisfied and self-assured, that’s one less item on your list. For weeks and months after the potluck, whenever anyone thinks of you, they’ll automatically think “Apple Pie.”

Bring More Than One Pie

Of course everyone wants a piece of you, but that doesn’t mean every piece has to be the same. What better opportunity to share all your favorite flavors? The morning of the potluck, you purchase blueberry, lemon meringue, coconut cream, chocolate silk, and chess pies. At the end of the party there are still four or five slices left of each flavor, and no one remembers your name. But hey, at least no one went home hungry.

Bake Your Own Pie

This is the scariest option for most people, but the reward is immeasurable.

You think back to your childhood, of how you would help your mother make desserts for Thanksgiving. How she would ask you to grate the nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger… and the incredible aroma that came from the oven! When dessert was served and your pie was finally unveiled, everyone lined up in anticipation. Now THIS is pie!

For the potluck, your offering is a labor of love, yet you do not identify yourself with the outcome. You place your pie on the table with all the other desserts… and the rest of the evening is filled with joy and laughter.

You return to pick up your pie plate at the end of the night. Yours is the only dessert that’s completely gone… though now there are two slips of paper waiting for you. “Call Me,” both of them say. “I’d like to get your recipe.”

What is your value proposition? Will you be a one-trick pony or a jack of all trades? Or will you be something unique and distinctive? Starting over can be as easy as pie. There will be plenty of challenges, of course. But the result will be worth celebrating, I promise.

As you enjoy the following recipe, please also consider the story of my friend Armando Pedroso. Thank you, Armando, for bringing your own pie to the party.

Pumpkin Pie with Spice

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Inspired by Deliciously Organic

Career Change, Value Proposition, Potluck

Your Value Proposition Is More Than Just A Sweet Treat


  1. Place all ingredients except butter in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Pulse 2-3 times to combine.
  3. Add the butter to the flour mixture, pulse for eight times, then leave the processor on until the dough forms into a ball. (If dough is crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.)
  4. Press the dough on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.


  • 1 small Butternut Squash, about 2 lbs
  • Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup organic maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup whipped cream (not ultrapasteurized)
  1. While the pie crust is cooling in the refrigerator, preheat oven to 400°F and adjust rack to middle position.
  2. Peel the Butternut Squash, remove the seeds and slice into 1 inch cubes (Reserve half of the cubes for another dish.)
  3. Coat a large baking sheet with coconut oil, and bake the remaining Butternut Squash cubes for 20 minutes or until soft.
  4. Remove the Butternut Squash and preheat the oven to 425°F
  5. Place maple sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon, nutmeg, Butternut Squash, eggs, and coconut milk in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Place pie dish on a large baking sheet.
  7. Cover crust with a pie shield or foil to ensure the crust doesn’t burn.
  8. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.
  9. Turn oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes until edges of pie are set (the center of the pie will jiggle a bit, but will set as it cools).
  10. Cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy with family and friends.

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