Introducing Marta Hobbs. Born in Szczecin, Poland, she fled communist oppression as a political refugee at 12, arriving in the United States seeking asylum, safety and belonging. Immigration and assimilation challenges propelled her relentless pursuit of the American Dream – to prove her worth as an unwelcome foreigner. From a non-English speaker to a Hofstra University graduate, she thrived in television production and co-founded CheapCaribbean.com.
Leading the organization’s growth to $2.5 billion revenue with 500+ employees, she shattered gender barriers as the only woman in executive leadership. Maintaining a strong leader facade while juggling multiple roles, struggling with perfectionism, and attempting to be superwoman, she lost herself in the constant chase and pursuit of success. The sale of her business and a move to Paris led to her retirement and a profound identity crisis. Exhausted, she wondered, who was she if not the trailblazing COO and founder?
For over a decade, she immersed herself in healing, inner work and holistic wellness, emerging with a desire to guide others on similar paths. Now, she offers exclusive mentorship to top leaders worldwide, advocating for transformative change in toxic corporate structures through Soul Leadership, fostering heart-centered businesses and global positive change. All of it thanks to finding her true identity at last – in the depths of her own heart. Empowering her clients by pointing them within, reminding them of their own brilliance and resilience to overcome anything, she helps them curate lives they love living – lives filled with freedom, purpose, joy and abundance. It is her soul that guides her these days – so that she can lead herself first while leading others to their personal greatness.
Can you share a glimpse into your personal background with our readers?
My life is the story of transforming scarcity into abundance – on all levels. From growing up in a dangerous, communist-led country to being a poor immigrant teenager in America, I rose up to become the founder and leader of a large international business filling my life with all kinds of magic and adventures (not to mention the Caribbean islands as my playground!). My biggest accomplishment, however, is the journey of love – its growth, deepening, transformation and expansion. I am a mother to two incredible children (aged 25 and 20), a dog-mom to our adorable toy-poodle named Daisy, and I have been married for 27 years. At 49 years old, I am finally starting to love myself and this is profoundly transformative! I have achieved significant milestones in my life including living in several countries, having quite a few successful careers, and the remarkable journey of growing and selling a business that generated $2.5 billion in revenue. I know what it feels like to reach that pivotal moment where you exclaim, “Oh, my God, I’ve made it!” But I also know what it feels like to get there and hear a faint whisper of “there is more to life.”
It was this nudge, this inner invitation, that changed my life and its course. After the successful sale of my company, retirement at 39 and a move to my dream city – Paris, France – I encountered burnout, exhaustion and paralyzing anxiety along with daily panic attacks. It was as if the outer shell of who I was completely cracked, opening into a deep, dark and painful inner reality – the childhood trauma I had been running from. This was the turning point that propelled me on an inward journey of healing, self-discovery and spiritual awakening. This transformative process exposed my deep disconnection from myself and the need to constantly be busy in order to avoid the feelings of abandonment and loneliness it brought with it. The path forward was a path through all that pain and the repressed wounds and memories of my upbringing.
My role now is to stand alongside women, guiding and supporting them as they navigate their own leadership journeys. I aspire to lead the leaders and mentor the mentors, ensuring their trajectories are not plagued by the same loss of self and inner disconnection I once endured. I remind women that they are not their jobs – who they are gets expressed through their jobs. While many may perceive me as someone who grows businesses, my true passion lies in creating an environment where women can come as their authentic selves. I believe this authenticity is vital in leadership. As we ascend to the pinnacle of success, finding relatable individuals we can be vulnerable with becomes increasingly challenging. I provide that companionship with a deep understanding of the journey and the business-side of things..
We often find ourselves compromising parts of our identity and dimming our lights in order to fit societal expectations. This burden weighs heavily on leaders at the top of their game, and it’s a burden I aim to alleviate. My experiences have ignited a profound desire to empower women who are striving, achieving, pushing boundaries, and making significant impacts in their respective fields. I am driven by the opportunity to provide a space where they can come whole, unmasking their true selves and embracing their multifaceted identities. This, I believe, is the essence of effective leadership – coming fully in the authenticity and complexity of who we are. Coming whole and not fragmented, not repressing any aspects of who we are as women. Creating a holding space like this is tremendously freeing for my clients. They all breathe a huge sigh of relief to be finally seen for the entirety of who they are – and to be accepted and loved for all of it.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Slow down, get in touch with your heart and how you are feeling, take care of yourself first, and seek the guidance of a mentor who has walked a few steps ahead. As I raced through life, propelled by the expansion and explosion of my business, I paid a steep price for my success—the disconnection from myself. While blazing trails and conquering the world, while pouring out fully into others, the one person I wasn’t looking after was myself. Being grounded in who we are at our core is key. Checking in with our soul to know that the path we are on still feels good, is so important. Getting in touch with our own needs for nourishment and rest are critical. These were things I was not doing. I was simply running, chasing and achieving. A trusted mentor could have asked some key questions and spoken truth to me at a time where I felt very lonely and isolated but couldn’t stop the race because of the expectations and pressures I was living under. I needed support. But instead I pushed through so the crash which eventually took place was massive. It could have been avoided. This is what I try to provide for others – being the mentor I so desperately needed myself when I was younger.
Can you share your experience as an immigrant and how it shaped your drive for success?
At the age of twelve, I immigrated to America, fleeing from the communist regime that governed Poland at the time. Along with my parents and sister, we drove across the border in the middle of the night, without telling anyone we were leaving for the fear of being detained. I welcomed my 13th birthday in a German refugee camp – lost, alone, confused and displaced. It gave birth to the identity of ‘the one who never fits in,’ which I carried for a long time. At an age when all we crave is acceptance, belonging and friendship I arrived in America not speaking the language and being completely unfamiliar with the culture. The deep need to prove to my peers that I wasn’t less intelligent or unworthy just because I could not communicate, certainly fueled my determination to prove my own brilliance and capabilities to those who doubted me. These two wounds helped me succeed but eventually led to my breaking point. This is why awareness and intention are so important – chasing dreams driven by childhood pain will always lead to self destruction. Chasing them with a pure and clean sense of the “why” ensures lasting success AND a healthy, balanced life.
How did you realize that your pursuit of achievements and staying busy were attempts to fill an empty void within you?
It wasn’t until life how I knew it, how I was living it, came to an end. I had my first panic attack, which I thought was a heart attack which would take my life, and the incident brought everything to a complete stop. I simply stopped being able to function the way I had been up until then. LIfe gave me no choice.
So I set out on a journey to discover what had happened. It was then that I discovered the empty hole within me—a void I had unknowingly tried to fill with accomplishments, success, and busyness. I came to understand that my childhood trauma was driving everything – who I had been being and how I was perceiving my world. It was time to discover everything I had repressed, heal and integrate it, and rebuild myself and my life. It was the hardest journey of my life.
How do you maintain a sense of ease and flow in your life?
By staying deeply connected to my soul and remembering that everything flows from within me; by knowing that I am the creator of my own reality and that my external life only mirrors my inner reality. So my only job here is to continue the inner work I started a decade ago and watch where it leads me – with excitement and anticipation!. I trust life and I trust myself. Through my transformation I have learned to stop giving away my power by looking to others for validation – I only need my own. Now I understand that I am the one in charge of my circumstances, not a victim of them, so I take radical responsibility for how I show up, who I am and what kind of live experiences I curate for myself. I am very intentional about how I live but at the same time I know that there is a larger force in charge of it all. That takes a lot of pressure off and I don’t feel that I need to figure it all out myself – I surrender into the flow because I trust that this flow is love itself. I lean into what comes and I believe it is all here for my evolution and maturation.
What courses do you offer for women seeking to join your space?
A great place to start is my bestselling book, ‘Unraveling,” which swiftly became a bestseller on Amazon in the women writers category. In it, I share my personal transformation journey, including the impact of trauma on my life, its influence on my path to success, and the story behind starting my businesses. The final part of the book delves into my own healing path and journey “back home” to my soul. Reading the book is an excellent starting point to delve into my teachings and it includes some free resources to get started, as well as the spiritual self-care practice I’ve developed called SoulCare™.
SoulCare™ Sessions are a beautiful next step. They are guided meditation journeys into our own Inner Castle and can be booked online through my website as virtual appointments or in person as part of my partnership with Four Seasons Hotels – in New York City and Paris. Each session is tailored to the individual, equipping them with tools to continue their own transformative path. Moreover, I work closely with a select group of international women leaders, guiding them in their businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors via my Soul Leadership mentorship and coaching services. More info on my website www.MartaHobbs.com
Lastly, I just launched my first masterclass online called “The Invitation” which is available for purchase on my website and through my social media channels. It will become a seven week signature course in 2024. I am also beginning to gather a community of those doing soul-work out in the world, called The Soul-Led Collective. It’s a really beautiful group of heart-centered leaders whose goal is to positively affect the lives of others and have a global impact focused on spirituality at its core.
What benchmarks or goals do you aspire to achieve?
I don’t think of benchmarks of goals like most people. For example, I never go by numbers – I don’t set targets like that. I aspire to always live from my soul and allow my heart to lead me in everything I set out to accomplish. Right now, that vision is focused on major impact. I want to help change as many lives as I possibly can for the better – to offer hope to those struggling and to remind those who feel stuck or helpless, that anything is possible. I want my life to be an example of what’s available if we are willing to make changes and do the hard inner-work required.
I would love for my book to reach a wider audience. I envision it being transformed into a film or a Netflix series – a project by women for women. I dream of offering more beautiful events in person and online and growing my community to include people from all over the world, from all walks of life. I see myself speaking on bigger stages and touching the hearts of others by sharing my story. Everywhere I go I want to deeply connect with others, reminding them of their own power, sacredness and love – and in order to do that I have to be grounded and centered myself. So my biggest goal is to stay connected internally – aligned with my purpose, filled with inner peace and overflowing with divine love. I know that in order to bring my message forth I have to cultivate within me what I want to bring forth through my energy wherever I go. So, practicing what I preach is the answer – making sure I not only guide others in SoulCare but stay on the inner journey myself.
What can we expect from you in the next quarter?
I am organizing something very special – my first exclusive VIP retreat experience in Paris, France. Since I live in this gorgeous city I really wanted to explore something I see happening here to women – being surrounded by all this beauty and luxury awakens something within us! I experienced this myself when I first moved here and have made some really interesting connections between inner and outer beauty as well as how receiving love and opening up to being loved and cared for is a life-changing experience for many of us who are constantly taking care of others. It will be a three day retreat with a deep focus on wellness, self-love and our soul-level connection and intimacy – with our own hearts and with the hearts of others. Paris is a perfect place for this and I’m so looking forward to sharing “my Paris” with all those who are ready for it, in a luxury and elegant setting, of course. It is going to be exquisite!
After successfully launching my first online masterclass, I am working on a seven-week program on soul-led living, which will be offered online next year. I am finalizing the launch of the audio version of my book “Unraveling” and expanding SoulCare™ into a certification program. Other luxury hotels/spas will be added as partners offering SoulCare, which is really amazing to see! Four Seasons New York Downtown will always be the first and I am so grateful for their support.
A lot is happening and I am super excited for next year, which also means I am expanding my team as my business is rapidly growing. In all I do, my goal is always to point others within – we are limitless and boundless when we remember we are the soul. And from there – anything is possible! Remembering this myself is my first job!
What is the most important takeaway you want your clients to gain from your work?
Embodiment of self-love and the remembrance of their own sacredness. It saddens me to witness the competition that often arises among women, even within the coaching industry and female entrepreneurship. My heart breaks at the comparisons and the drive to outdo one another, exacerbated by the influence of social media. I want women to live filled with self-love and sacred-love that is the source of all life – embracing their ability to shine their light brightly while creating space for other women to do the same. Let us celebrate one another’s uniqueness knowing that we are all magical in our own way.
My goal is for women to love themselves so deeply that they can recognize and appreciate the beauty in others. We tend to beat ourselves up internally, comparing ourselves to other women in terms of followers, sales, or paths taken. But perhaps, that is not our journey. Maybe there is something different and equally fulfilling for each of us. I yearn for women to possess such abundant self-love that they confidently stand in their authenticity and lead from that empowered space expressing themselves fully.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is my capacity to love deeply. I used to perceive it as a weakness, thinking that I could never receive the same depth of love in return. I often felt unseen and unloved until I discovered the wellspring of love within myself. Now, that profound divine love has become a reservoir from which I pour out love in all aspects of my life. I strive to embody love wherever I go, creating an energy field that others can sense and feel, even without verbal exchanges. I believe my ability to love deeply stems from my willingness to sit with pain and experience it on a profound level.
I am here to remind women of who they are – sacred, loved, abundant and free at their very core. You can do anything, and your wildest dreams can become reality. I am proof and evidence of this truth! All you have to do is envision the biggest, brightest and grandest version of yourself and then, each day, take a small step towards that goal. Believe it can be yours, believe you are deserving of it, and feel the energy of already being/having it all. That’s how powerful you are!
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