Elaine Tan Comeau shares how she grew a tool she made by parent demand to help kids as a schoolteacher into an award-winning business that wowed all the Dragons on Dragons’ Den while juggling being a mom of three.”
Elaine Tan Comeau of Easy Daysies
Elaine is the passionate mother of three, wife, former classroom teacher, and CEO of Easy Daysies, a company that creates daily schedules that help show kids the “shape of the day.”
From my first experience meeting Elaine, I was wowed. Her story of resilience, her beautiful heart, and her family’s first values shine through whether she’s speaking to a room of hundreds or one-on-one.
Elaine’s is a transformation story mothers need to hear. When life threw Elaine the ultimate curveball, her doctor asked her to choose between watching her daughter play volleyball that week or being alive for that same daughter’s future wedding.
From a mother hell-bent on doing it all and thinking sleep was overrated to learning about “the other bucket” list, Elaine’s priorities became crystal clear, and I hope you find her story as inspiring as I do.
Elaine Tan Comeau Beyond the Surface
How would you like people to describe you?
I’m a big hugger. I’m always humbled when people say I’m inspiring, but I think my biggest compliment is when people tell me how kind, polite, and compassionate my children are. When I hear people say such lovely things about my children, that makes my heart smile and makes me so happy.
How old are your kids?
They are 14, 16, and 20.
You started Easy Daysies when your third was brand new, right? Just a few days old?
When I first launched my first product, yes. Then, Easy Daysies was incorporated on October 25, 2011. But yes, I launched my first product just a few days after my third baby was born.
Elaine Tan Comeau on Motherhood and Business
As a mother, what did you struggle with most?
My priority is always my children; they come first, which may cause Easy Daisies to grow slower. Because my priority is my kids, sometimes they came with me to meetings, which meant that men in three-piece suits sometimes came to my kitchen table at my house. At the same time, I was potty training on the other side of the kitchen counter. You can’t plan those things when suddenly you hear someone go “potty,” and I remember two gentlemen sitting at my kitchen counter with me as we all heard success in the potty on the other side of the counter!
Being a mom with a young family and starting a business meant being authentic, being real, and hoping the person on the other end understands. You quickly realize (but don’t initially recognize) that you want to work with people with those same core values. That “family first” is essential. And, of course, your client, customer, or retailer is so important to you, too. Still, it’s beautiful when you find business partners with the same core values as you, so they’re complementary throughout and make for lasting relationships. So I always say be genuine and authentic. You might be sad to lose some clients, but you’ll be happy when you realize they weren’t the ones you wanted.
The Curve Ball
You suffered from a stroke, and it forced you to reevaluate your life. What did that experience teach you, and what does your self-care look like today?
I learned what they call the “the other bucket list.” I was in the hospital for nine days, and my roommate was an 87-year-old gentleman. His bucket list wasn’t “I wish I climbed Mount Everest and swam with dolphins.” It was, “I wish I could dance with my wife one more time, or I wish I could have lunch with my son, whom I no longer talk to.” It helped me reevaluate because when you are a mom and an entrepreneur, and you see on social media, it’s so glorified: the multitasking mom juggling the diaper bag and the laptop. I think we need to crumple that and throw it to the side.
Lessons From the Stroke
The first lesson I learned is that you must master the art of single-tasking, which means it isn’t about multitasking. It is remembering that the secret to success in relationships, whether business or family, is the ability to master the art of single-tasking when it matters most because it increases the impact, commitment, and quality of that relationship. Our children and spouses won’t remember when we multitask, but they will remember when we were single-tasking with them.
Lesson number two is to put your time and energy where your heart is, and that means kicking out mom guilt and kicking out people pleasing. I say this because I know I’ve always been a people pleaser, so I consciously have to say, “Is this going to help anyone? Is it a priority of my heart, and what is the priority of my heart?” we have to focus on that. I’m saying no to my family if it’s a constant yes to others. So remember to put your time and energy where your heart is.
And that the third lesson is to create more joy. I read a book called Sell Your Passion, and when we realize and understand what we offer in our service or product… will it create more joy? And if it’s not, then don’t say yes. It’s okay to say no.
I stick to having office hours and close that laptop because it’s like closing the door and not working on weekends. It makes it healthy for the family; I’m able to have my time and make time for good quality sleep.
Before Easy Daysies, you were a teacher. Are you still a teacher or all-in on Easy Daysies now?
I am all-in on Easy Daysies, and I also have a podcast. I also do a lot of speaking events, whether on a stage in front of hundreds of men and women at corporate events or speaking at teacher events and professional development days. Sometimes, I get the honour of entering the classroom and love it! So, I’m still in education, which I love with all my heart.
I helped co-author a kindergarten book called Classroom Ready, a keepsake activity book for parents and classroom teachers to do with their children. You can find Classroom Ready, Here.
Business Tips From Elaine Tan Comeau
Can you share some pivotal moments or strategies that helped you turn your business idea of Easy Daysies into reality?
Yes, I think that when you have a brilliant idea, you want to research to see if it exists already. You do not want to put your time, energy, and effort into thinking that your great solution is the first time it’s been created. But don’t give up there. If you see it already in the market, ask yourself how to improve it.
You want to be able to answer these three questions before you move forward:
- What is the problem, and how is my idea the solution?
- How is it unique and better than any other solution?
- How are you going to get the funds to back this up?
Sometimes it’s not enough that you like it. You want to test it and make sure it is a solution.
Think of starting in a small radius, and when it becomes successful, copy that model and duplicate and expand it.
Did you grow up in an entrepreneurial family?
I have two very hard-working parents. My dad moved my family to Canada because running a business and getting an education in Malaysia had many cultural challenges. So we came to Canada, and my father left being a President of a company to cleaning toilets and sweeping floors at Harvey’s Hamburger, and working his way up there. He became an entrepreneur, so I saw his hard work from a distance because he never talked about it.
I always say a mom is a CEO, and the number of children you have increases how many companies you have because they’re all different. So, I did have the role model of two very hard-working parents who never closed the door on me and let me try things, and I think that fed into me being a risk taker and walking into fear.
What fears or doubts did you have to overcome when starting Easy Daysies, and how did you work through that?
It was the unknown. It was like jumping off that cliff into a dark stormy cloud because I had no training in business or marketing, so it was a learning as I went. And what is a tremendous survival skill for a mom entrepreneur is that resiliency happens. You need it to happen, and you want it to happen because you have your children behind you. Don’t be afraid to fail and always do the right thing, is a motto I like to live by. And in business, trust your gut, not your heart.
How did you know when it was time to hire help, and did you get help at home or in your business first?
When I knew I could generate an income, I switched from being a part-time teacher to Easy Daysies. Hiring help in business first is what I did. I always wanted to raise my family, so that was my priority. I learned quickly that you can’t wear all the hats in your business and are not the expert in everything. And if you don’t let go of some things, you’ll crash and burn.
What’s Next For Easy Daysies?
Can you share any plans or exciting developments for Easy Daysies that our readers can look forward to?
I’m excited about a new home line that’s coming out called My Morning Routine and My Nighttime Routine, and this is just the beginning because there will be different expansions to that, including My Classroom Routine.
You can find the complete line of Easy Daysies products here.
Words of Wisdom from Elaine Tan Comeau
What wisdom would you like to give other moms seeking to achieve their goals?
The first one that pops to mind is you need to write them down because it tells both sides of your brain what’s happening, and you will take steps to make it happen. Be realistic in your goals. Please write down your big goal and work backwards to break it into chunks and determine what must happen. And, no matter what, always be kind and do the right thing.
Finish this sentence: my life motto is…
To create more joy and bring joy into other’s lives. Ask yourself two questions every morning:
- Who can I help?
- What can I learn?
Wake up and go to bed, being thankful for something.
Where to Find Elaine Tan Comeau
You may also enjoy these interviews of other inspiring women who stood up to self-doubt and found projects that lit their hearts on fire.
Andrea and Carmen of Rosewood Event Design
Kim McMullen of Girl in the Wild
Amrit Heer of She Wears Love
Briony Geldeard of West Coast Flying Trapeze
Tatum Blize of Styled by Tatum
Are you a woman who has found her passion? I’d love to connect and hear how you did it. You can reach out at email@example.com
About the Author
Christine lives on the West Coast of Canada with her husband, their three kids and approximately one million plant babies.
She is the creator of the Rise & Monetize Creator Summit and the founder of YVR Creatives. Christine is passionate about female empowerment and advocating for maternal mental health. She loves all adventures on the water or in the forest and connecting with other open-hearted, lifelong learners.