All it takes is one conversation with FOF Lin Eleoff to be certain that she can help you “get off the bathroom floor and “seize happiness by the throat.” A former TV reporter and lawyer, Lin is one Smart Ass coach who says she was born to help others “live lives that are on fire.” There’s more to life, she says, than “what women see as their current reality.” Lin talked to FOF about why she makes her own rules and how you can make your own, too.
Are you married?
Yes, we met on a tennis court and have been married 22 years. I lovingly call him ‘Thurston Howell the 4th’ because he sounds exactly like Thurston Howell the Third (the role played by Jim Backus on Gilligan’s Island). He’s lost his British accent but he was born in Great Britain and he calls me ‘Darling’ and ‘Lovey.’ It’s hysterical.
What does he do?
He’s a corporate guy… all business. I’m the entrepreneur in the family.
We have four, from 16 to 25 years old.
Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?
I grew up in Toronto. My dad died when I was 17. My mom was an entrepreneur. She launched the first domestic employment agency in Canada.
I want to get women up off the bathroom floor (where they hide their sadness, pain and tears) and take responsibility for their lives.
What did you do before becoming a coach?
My first career was as a TV news reporter and anchor in Toronto, where I won a couple of CanPro awards as well as a New York Film Festival award for news documentary, which delved into the topic of adoption. When my husband’s career took us to the U.S., I decided to switch careers and follow my long time dream of going to law school. When my youngest turned one, I applied to the Roger Williams School of Law, which was 20 minutes from our house in Providence, RI. I practiced for several years and then decided I wanted to be a coach.
Why a coach?
I became a coach at the age of six, when I saw my parents fighting for the first time. I remember thinking, ‘I can fix this, if they would just listen to me.’ As an attorney, I always wanted to help people fix their lives so they wouldn’t need to hire me again. As a TV news reporter, I was always drawn to the personal interest stories. I’m a big sap, but I’ve come to believe that I have a duty to get my ass to Happy and have learned how to do that. I was born to help others do the same, to get up off their asses to live lives that are on fire (instead of being burnt out).
I think women are coming to realize that there’s more to life than what they see as their current reality. Plus, I get to run my own business, work from home, and be the boss of me. It’s heaven. I’ve met women from all over the world and we’re all the same — we just want to belong.
What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?
All women can benefit from coaching, but especially those past 40 and 50, who are ready to plan out their lives going forward (instead of looking back). That can be so exciting and empowering.
What is your mission?
I want to get women up off the bathroom floor (where they hide their sadness, pain and tears) and take responsibility for their lives. We tend to ‘wait’ for happiness to come to us. That won’t ever work. You have to go out and get it. Seize it! Claim it! I know how to do that and I love teaching women how to do it for themselves. Some crazy stuff can happen once you take responsibility and seize happiness by the throat!
Tell us about a typical client.
My clients are in their 40s and beyond and most of them want to lose weight, feel normal, not feel deprived, and end the war around food. They’re looking for Thinner Peace. I use charts, graphs, lip gloss, sarcasm, and my black belt, Ninja-style coaching skills to show them how to do that. It works like a charm. It’s crazy good how well it works.
How did you come up with the Smart Ass idea?
I learned how to be a Smart Ass from my parents — it’s a unique blend of love and sarcasm. I don’t think self help needs to be so damn serious. There’s no reason why we can’t be laughing our asses off while we’re bawling on the bathroom floor, right? You see, a Smart Ass makes up her own rules. Like I just did. Smart Ass Radio connects me to other like-minded women who make their own rules, without apology.
Have you written any books?
I have written Why the (BLEEP) Can’t I Lose Weight – Lose the Weight in Your Head, Shrink the Size of Your Ass (available on Amazon), and I’m currently writing a book called Extreme Self Coaching — it’s going to be epically Smart Ass and highly effective for getting out of the life you seem to be stuck with and creating the life you want.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?
Take seriously your responsibility to the world to get your ass to Happy. Otherwise you’ll just have to come back and do it all over again, until you get it ‘right’… kinda like the movie Groundhog Day.
How do women most sabotage themselves?
Women sabotage themselves by not understanding what it means to take care of themselves first. It’s not a mani-pedi once a week. Self Care is a full time job. If you’re happy, then everyone else around you feels that energy and benefits from it. Otherwise you’re just shortchanging the ones you love the most.
What famous women do you most admire?
Hillary Clinton is an all-round rock star in my eyes. She’s a hard-core fighter, she never backs down, and she gets back up off the bathroom floor when she hurts, dusts herself off and moves on.
Stevie Nicks is another real rock star. In a way I see myself in her. I even named one of my daughters Rhianon, after my favorite song. I feel a connection that I can’t explain without sounding woo woo.
Do you have a mentor?
My mom has always been my mentor. She’s a rock of a mother — fierce, loves unconditionally, always, always, always there to support me and is the best grandmother ever. She taught me how to be a good mother.