Lori M. Hobson & L. H. DEVELOPMENT
FINALIST: Be President of Your Own Fan Club!



Ask Lori Hobson what she is passionate about and she will be happy to tell you. As she begins to describe her Finding Your Beauty workshops her face lights up, her eyes sparkle and you find yourself caught up in her enthusiasm. Finding Your Beauty is a workshop that was designed to teach women how to celebrate the things about them that are wonderful. It was created as a result of the years that Lori has spent working as a counselor at Norfolk State University's Counseling Center. "I saw so many beautiful, articulate, intelligent, ambitious women who did not know it. They couldn't give themselves permission to believe that they were fantastic.


"Confidence and humility can and should coexist. Some people think that they are opposites. I believe we are all given certain gifts and talents by GOD and, as a result, we should feel confident that we have those gifts and talents. I also believe we should be humble for the same reason. Our gifts and talents come from GOD not us." Lori teaches her participants to find out what their gifts are to use them. "Living and/or working outside of your gifts can lead to serious depression" she cautions.


Ms. Hobson's empathy comes from experience. "I've seen this issue from both sides. I've been unable to love myself and I've been able to love myself very much. It is indescribably better to love yourself."


Lori begins each workshop by saying that she is the self-appointed President of all of their fan clubs. However there is a catch. She expects each of them to take her job at the end of the workshop. "You can't work me to death". She goes on to explain that taking her job is not easy. "I love my job and I won't give it up easily." In the final activity each woman must walk up to her from across the room as though she is ready to take over her duties as President. Then and only then does Lori surrender the job that she loves so much.


Lori's work as a counselor also inspired her book MOMMA SAYINGS. "I would use the things that my mother said to me in sessions with younger women. Soon I began making them up. Then I started writing them down. As I shared my concept with other people, they would tell me things that their mother said to them. Whenever someone gave me a saying, I would give them credit in the book. Finally, my mentor encouraged me to finish it and publish it. What started out as a file on my computer is now available for sale. I am working on the third edition as we speak"


Over the years, Lori has worked as a counselor in a multitude of settings. "I've been a rehabilitation counselor, a drug treatment counselor, a prevention counselor, a career counselor and now a college counselor. One of the things that I have learned about myself is that I feel a tiny bit of what each client feels. That level of perception is very beneficial to me professionally and it is great for my clients. I must admit that it can also be extremely draining."




Lori considers herself a rare breed, she is a genuine native of New York City, born and raised in Brooklyn. However she has lived in Hampton Virginia for over 20 years. She says that she was destined to be a counselor. "For as long as I can remember, people have been able to talk to me. It was not unusual for a stranger to sit next to me and tell me their life story. I was always curious about why people act the way they do so when I was choosing a college major, psychology seemed natural."


After earning her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Norfolk State University, she went on to obtain a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Hunter College in New York. Currently Lori is working on her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. "I wanted to use the skills that I already have while learning new ones. I also wanted to learn how to focus on the big picture."


26 years of work as an individual counselor has taught Lori that sometimes her gift of perception can work against her. "It has become more difficult to keep my energy level where it needs to be. My talent for perception and empathy depletes me and it is harder to rejuvenate. In a sense, this knowledge led me to develop Finding Your Beauty. I found myself having the same conversation over and over with women of all ages so I decided to get them into the same room and tell them all."


"I will never forget my first women's conference. I felt like my energy was boundless. My participants responded to my enthusiasm and I realized that I had a passion for motivational speaking. I began refining Finding Your Beauty, developing other workshops and looking for opportunities to present." Lori's doctoral studies have revealed another passion. She also loves learning about leadership and organizational development. "My ultimate goal is to develop a leadership institute for women with Finding Your Beauty as an integral part of the curriculum."


Although Lori has an admitted passion for women's empowerment and leadership training, she has discovered that her overall interest is relationships. Lori has developed workshops on relationships at all levels.

    Finding Your Beauty (women only) and Be President of your Own Fan Club (men and women) are about your relationship with yourself.

    Emotional Intelligence is geared toward supervisors and administrators. It addresses their relationships with employees and each other.

    Intergenerational Communication is for employees on all levels. For the first time in history, there are four generations working side by side. They view authority differently. They have varied definitions of respect, motivation and reward. Even their views of work can be very different. Understanding these differences can prevent misunderstanding and friction that can seriously interfere with productivity.

    I Met the Man/Woman of My Dreams and Then I Woke Up! And How to Communicate with the Woman/Man in your life are both designed for male female relationships.


Professional issue


Lori is very good at what she does and wants to stand out from those who call themselves motivational speakers simply because they speak at church or toastmasters. She also needs a way to convince organizations that relationship training is important to productivity and not just "fluff". A big problem is that interest in her services often comes from people who want to recruit her for their business or want her to work for free.


Personal issue


For Lori the biggest personal challenge is finding balance. She is a fulltime student and working fulltime while building her business. "Everything is a priority and I'm often overwhelmed. I know that it is important to remain healthy physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. "I am beginning to feel burned out from working full time and building my business and I want very badly to work for myself full time. I'm just afraid that I won't be able to pay my bills if I go out on my own. More than anything, I need to know how to make that transition."