Elaine Tan Comeau of Easy Daysies
Elaine Tan Comeau is a mom of three, founder of Easy Daysies Ltd., Media Parenting & Educational Expert, speaker, author, award-winning entrepreneur & educator, and podcast host at “Create Better … at Elaine’s Kitchen Table”. She went from being a schoolteacher to accidentally inventing a multi-award winning children’s product & one of Dragons’ Den favourite pitches, Easy Daysies®. She has been featured in Forbes, Macleans, CBC, FOX, CTV, Canadian Business Magazine, Parents Magazine, and the Financial Post, to name a few. She passionately supports women through her podcast, her book, “Sell Your Passion”, and sits on several Advisory Boards.
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The Mission Behind Elaine’s Work
Easy Daysies Ltd., a company founded by a mom of three & school teacher, produces award winning daily visual schedules and other products to help parents and educators help children have easier days. Our goal is to help children, adults and families have happier and easier days, and that is how it got its name… Easy Daysies®!
Elaine’s Insights to Entrepreneurship
Was there a time in your life you knew you were capable of more, or destined for more?
For many years while I was teaching, parents would ask me if I could make visual schedule, similar to the one I had made in the front of my classroom for them at home, to help their children at home become more cooperative and independent. and to help their kids get out the door faster in the mornings. I fell in love with my class each year and drew these visual schedules by hand and make them for free for years by parent demand. I realized there must be a market for what I was making since parents asked for them every year. So I did the research and discovered there was nothing out there that was a product. So I saved up by tutoring and selling crafts to raise that first $1400 I needed to manufacture my first batch of product which I launched off our kitchen table a few days after my third baby was born. Then it suddenly became noticed in media and was named the “#1 Back to School Must Have” multiple media platforms and stores started to call asking to carry the products. A decade later and it is a blessing to know that something I have created has helped thousands of families and children have easier days and lives, has won 14 awards, has incited a bidding war between all five investors on Dragons’ Den, is recommended by name by child psychologists and occupational therapists, and has been in over a thousand retail stores across North America.
As en educator, I always would tell my students that you are capable of anything and to always reach for the stars, because even if you fall, you will end up higher than where you started. I think that you will and should always believe that you are capable of more. I tell my children to wake up each day asking two questions: “Who can I help today?”, and “What can I learn today?” Believe me, as an accidental entrepreneur, there are days that I doubt myself and doubted that I can do either. But that is when we need to remember most that we are capable, that there is someone we can help with what we have to offer, and to look at what our passion has driven us to do and create already.
What challenges have you overcome in your life, and what did you learn about yourself in the process?
On April 25th, 2017 this mama of three had a stroke. Through seven months of stroke rehab, I learned many hard and humbling lessons which all pointed the importance of family and making right decisions every day so that I could live a life by design and not by default. This means knowing that it is okay to say “No”, to not make decisions based on guilt or the need to do it all, to put my time and energy where my heart is, and to master the art of single-tasking in a world where multi-tasking is so glorified. Spend time with family first and foremost, have boundaries, and keep moving forward.
What is your why? How do you ensure you are living your life “on purpose” as much as possible?
My “why” is all about creating happy families. To do all I can to help not only my children be happy and healthy physically and mentally, but to help as many children and families have happier and easier days. That is how our daily visual schedules got it’s name, Easy Daysies! My way of living on purpose is to be present for my children.
Where do you see yourself and/or your life in the next year? What do you hope to see in the world and/or hope to accomplish?
It is my goal and hope for Easy Daysies to be in as many households and classrooms as possible, helping parents and teachers help children have easier and happier days. Kids are primarily visual learners and visual schedules are proven to help children as young as preschool age become more cooperative and independent, all because they can see and predict what is happening next.
What advice can you give to other women around life, family, work, and self-care?
Start and end each day with gratitude and tell someone (your spouse, your kids) that you love them and are so grateful for them. It is always so good to start and end the day brightening someone else’s.
Put your time and energy where your heart is. Make decisions on what creates joy, not on mom-guilt, people pleasing, or urgency for the need to do everything.
Mastering the art of Single-tasking is the secret to success in personal and business relationships. When you focus on one thing at a time you will increase the quality, growth, and impact in that relationship. Social media glorifies multi-tasking, but true success in life depends on the ability to single task well.
Say “No” to things that do not create more joy so that you can say “Yes” to the right things.
Learn every day, know that you can learn from anyone.
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