Ottawa Co-Working Space: Media Mall Interviews eSAX


Martin: Welcome back to the Media Mall podcast
everybody I’m have the pleasure to welcome a very special guest Mr. Jarrod Goldsmith Jarrod: Hello Martin, thank you.
Martin: Welcome aboard, thank you come to the the podcast I gotta say you’re a recognizable person
in the Ottawa area you’re always wearing the hat. Jarrod: Always it’s a big part of who I am! Martin: When did that start?
Jarrod: Actually this is quite a history there I started the band back in 2011 and in some of my
earlier videos there’s no hat. People wouldn’t even recognize me but I started
going to events and I thought I thought I needed a brand
and my aunt came to town which was it hey Jared you play a lot of jazz music
is yeah auntie Elena I do play a lot of jazz music have you ever thought about
wearing a fedora. No we ran to Walmart picked up a cheap fedora and I was very
shy believe it or not Martin. I was shy for a while especially when you wear a
recognizable brand people stare at you I wasn’t used to this
so probably maybe mid to late 2012 I started wearing this hat and I really
grew into it it’s it’s been a huge part of my branding.
Martin: Has it always been the
Fedora or did you try like the glasses those brothers or something that?
Jarrod: No, no those would be
pretty cool but it’s always been the Hat. Martin: Yaya it would have been inconvenient to always walk around with sunglasses so the saxophone the Hat you’ve got these socks that you’re.
Jarrod: Oh yeah the socks with the branding they’re it’s it’s something
that I’ve been thinking of for a long time but you know what they say in
business you could have the greatest idea and always wait for the timing to
be perfect timing it’s never gonna be perfect. Martin: I get yeah! So tell me more
about these socks? Jarrod: Well these arcs are really cool so
they’re produced by a company here in Ottawa, who designed it and we have
them shipped out of the country and we raise funds for three charities every
time somebody buys a pair? Martin: What are the charities?
Jarrod: For every pair that I sell
fifty cents goes to CHEO Max Keeping Foundation, Ability First Ottawa
and the Ottawa Network for Education. But it gets better we
have companies who match our donations so for every pair sold we have two
companies who are matching. So for right now every pair $4.50 gets
divided amongst these three charities. Martin: No way!
Jarrod: And we’re always looking for more
engagement to have companies organizations other
individuals philanthropists get on board to make more of a difference in our community.
Martin: And how much are those? Jarrod: They’re $15
Martin: Can I buy a few pairs?
Jarrod: Yeah sure for sure how many would you like? Martin: Two pairs.
Jarrod: You got it!
Martin: Jerry want a pair so good – two pairs Jarrod: Awesome, thank you guys.
Martin: So let’s talk about a sax. I’ve been to a few of your events very well put together by the way so what was when did a sax start
when did you start off with that idea? Jarrod: Well it’s a good question because some
of your listeners might not realize but there was a program by the provincial
government called the Ontario self-employment benefits program OSEBO have you heard it?
Martin: I believe I was a recipient of their grant when I was 17
years old as a young entrepreneur but I haven’t heard that name in so long so yeah.
Jarrod: It was been around the Ontario region for about 26 or 27 years I
when I was in and out of government for many years I tried to get a full-time
job in the government another story we’ll save that for another podcast and
I got accepted into this program because he had to be on EI employment insurance
to be eligible. I never want to start a business before let alone go
into one for music so I got into this program to promote and create sax
appeal which is the all saxophone band very unique and everyone in this program
were for the most part in new entrepreneurs they never started a
business all ages all different types of industries and throughout the 42
week program they kept encouraging people to go network because you have to
go create a business I didn’t know anything about networking
everybody in my intake had no idea about networking and so I started going to a
ton of events and I realized because this program accepted a new group of
people between 20 to 50 every three months they go through one month of
classroom training and then the rest of the 42 weeks to promote and create a
business they funded you it was an amazing opportunity
there was no resources tell people Network so I created these little
networking events I call I just simply called them the OCEB networking events in
every few months we would meet at a different restaurant
under bar and just talked about entrepreneurship because when you’re
starting at the business it’s really important to be around other people who
are doing the same thing it’s empowering you’re learning you’re asking
questions you’re all going through the same in many cases similar it’s
Martin: Relatable right because us entrepreneurs we don’t relate to people
that have the nine-to-five jobs. Jarrod: Not at all and you might not even find that
that you’re getting support financial from your family or friends so and then
after about six or eight months of that I thought well sax appeal bands okay
give me some exposure. I’m gonna call it a new business called eSAX.
Martin: Were you reading the e-myth? Jarrod: No I never read it at that point and
I started these little events every three months originally to coincide with
a new group of people starting this program and there was need. People need a networking and the market was small
business and in many cases startups as well and it’s it’s a way to me
networking is all about relationships and I was dismayed I was
tired of how people were networking back then I mean I’m sure if you go to a
lot of the free events and I say free because you get what you pay for it and
of course people are throwing business cards at your face trying to get a sale
on that time and I found it distasteful and that’s why the letter S in eSAX stands for social it’s an acronym.
I’ve always believed that the more you get to know somebody talk to them relate
to them then then better things are gonna happen. Martin: Okay so it’s an acronym its
entrepreneurial…
Jarrod: Entrepreneurs Social Advantage Experience, I mean not
many things rhyme with X I had to get a little creative with that.
Martin: Yeah, yeah you wanted to put that E there it works better with an X.
Jarrod: Oh yes and when
you spell it has to be with with an A. Martin: Of course
Jarrod: Just in the case just in case we
haven’t had a problem yet but. Martin: Good and these events were every three months
but now you’re gonna change that consistency? Jarrod: Yeah, so since 2000
late 2012 we’ve had this big trade show event where we’ve had hundreds and
hundreds of entrepreneurs business leaders community leaders raising funds
for other charities and like a trade show setting. We were doing them every
three months but the January 2020 events that was our last one for a while we’re
no longer going to be doing them every three months maybe once a year
Martin: Once a year, yeah I love going to them they’re great events. Jarrod: And it’s gonna be a big one
and it’s more of a build-up because. Martin: Focus everybody into one event, I like that.
How do you find the spirit of entrepreneurship these days because if I
can remember when I was 17 years old that was 17 years ago oh man time flies
it wasn’t really cool to be an entrepreneur right all my friends were
going off to college they were going for those government jobs now it’s cool
to be an entrepreneur
Jarrod: It sure is it’s a nice buzz word now. Martin: It is.
Jarrod: Like when I was
growing up I didn’t know any entrepreneurs nobody ever called in
entrepreneurship and it was a scary word and I think Ottawa was a bit
different because it’s the government town for the most part and many people
have friends or family for generations who have been in government and not one
to start a business or have a side hustle a side passion but over the years
yeah you’re right it has begun become known more as a cool factor
Martin: Yes and do you believe that’s good for the entrepreneur
industry or do you think it it’s causing more people to come in and fail because
all their friends are doing it? Jarrod: Well I think it gets rid of some of the stigma
if it and everybody says failure it’s not a terrible thing it’s a
learning experience and the more people who could talk to others who’ve
been through it who might have failed a few times I mean
look at all the successful entrepreneurs you never hear about the five or
ten or twenty or more businesses that they’ve trashed crashed and burned.
Martin: People that do find success they they get told oh you’re an overnight
success that’s that must be so disheartening because you know what’s an
overnight success but it’s 15-20 years in the making.
Jarrod: It’s funny like that
people say to me if they don’t nobody eSAX is they google it or they Google my
name so wow I’ve never heard of you before you must be an overnight success so well it’s taken thousands and thousands
of hours and so many years to get where I am now so
you know the expression when’s a good time to plant a tree?
Martin: Yesterday
Jarrod: Most people say yesterday yeah 20 years ago yeah so because now we would be
blooming but I think it’s an old Chinese proverb but there’s never going
to be a good time to launch business timing it’s never gonna be right but
just do it and you’ll find ways to make it work maybe you’re looking for
funding or other business partners or more podcasting you know what the
expression success builds success and and the more active you are in
the community getting involved in in various stakeholders and working
together collaboratively rather than in silo I think that’s so much more
important for starting entrepreneur Martin: Opportunities bring more opportunities for sure and if you consider everything as a competition to you and I know some
people in the in the entrepreneur community who treats events or what they
do is competition and oh you’re my competition I’m not going to talk to you
I’m gonna rework or block you or whatever I’ve always thought that was
very short-sighted
Martin: It’s it’s something that you have to get over right because
myself I can talk from experience I was like that but over time you sort of
learned that you know your competition is probably the person you can relate to
the most.
Jarrod: Well that’s very true and it depends on your industry let’s say you
get totally swamped with clients which is a good thing
you’re probably gonna still want to help your client or your potential client in
some way by referring to somebody you know and trust who know you know could
do a good job it’s probably going to be your competition so I
probably thought that it was short-sighted Martin: Yes, no I agree and for people that are
starting out today if you could give them one piece of advice before they get
going they’ve got a great idea what should
they do before they get going and start? Jarrod: Well you have to find out if there’s a
need for your service or products your widget whatever your starting or
social media profile you have to go out there and talk to people your
potential clients even those in the community to say it’s called market
research oh you know I’m thinking of starting up this business what do you
think what’s your honest opinion. would you buy it with who
do you know would buy it who do you think would be my client and just find
out if there’s a need if there’s a need before you go out and spend money on on
your social media your website your branding and new trademarks and all that.
That’s a thing IP intellectual property most entrepreneurs they start a
business they have a great idea they don’t realize the value of
professionally or having a trademark more a patent to industrial design and
you don’t realize it until you actually are needed for instance I used to
one of my jobs in the government I was a trademarks examiner I worked at CIPO which was the Canadian Intellectual Properties Office
and they’ve been around in many forms Martin: Isn’t that what Einstein used to do?
Jarrod: Absolutely!
Martin: You’re like Einstein. it’s like the same.
Jarrod: Einstein didn’t wear hat.
Martin: Wouldn’t fit on all that hair. Jarrod: But that’s one part
Martin: Is eSAXtrademark?
Jarrod: Absolutely I own eight of them okay eight different
trademarks and I have one pending. So it’s because let’s say your business
starts taking off you come up with the name call it an old bear bear
productions or something and you’re doing videography and let’s say you
getting some great clients you’re active actively known you have a regular base
and then you get a lawyer’s letter from a company in a Iqaluit and say hey
we’ve been this is our brand we have the trademark you have a cease-and-desist
even though you’ve been using it for years you have to be very aware of this
because it could cause a lot of problems down the road.
Martin: We saw that with the
Athletic Club and the Ottawa Athletic Club not too long ago here in Ottawa I
don’t know how that ended up you know if one just gave up and said oh we’re now
Movody and then the other one kept you remember that?
Jarrod: Yes absolutely and that an excilent example.
Martin: I guess the oldest trademark company won that. Jarrod: If they had it trademarked
Martin: If they did or the WWF and the WWF oh the World Wildlife Foundation and yeah so
Jarrod: So there
are many examples of it’s less expensive to do it at the beginning stages of a
business and for somebody like you that’s like so well known with your
brand like that’s super valuable it is and people they think of brand is just
an image yeah but if you read any marketing books it’s a lot more than
just that it’s how people interact with it how they see it how they view it
take a look at the McDonald’s logo Tim Hortons you know exactly what’s
gonna get and it’s consistent across the world gotcha
and I think that’s so important in all your messaging your branding everywhere
you go like you talked about the head math I don’t go out of the house without
it yeah yeah they put my car no it’s just in case I forget and I have an
emergency one in my trunk just. Martin: I’ve seen you around the office here a few times you weren’t even facing me you’re like
oh that Jarred you know
Jarrod: But that’s what do you want as especially as you stir it up you need
to get out in the community and have people instantly recognize you you are
Martin: For me I’m a real estate agent here in Ottawa any piece of clothing that I
should start wearing?
Jarrod: Well you have to be careful because you might have
legalities I don’t think if you’re allowed to do certain things on social
media because I know some people say maybe in the financial industry they
have to be very careful on what they say and what how they promote themselves
or even mortgage agents around the state ages I think having a personal brand can
be fine outside of your corporate brand and figuring out what works for
you know not everybody’s gonna want to wear a hat.
Martin: No I love that
Jarrod: So go for it Martin: No no that’s your thing. There’s a guy in the real estate
industry that does it Fern Boucher he wears a fedora and
that’s how I recognize him but you’ve got two different brands definitely
Martin: So funny store many years ago somebody said to me charity I was at this event
and I saw a guy with the hat I coulda sworn it was you I went up to him it
wasn’t you I almost told him to take it off you.
Martin: You can’t I get you so you’ve been
working with Tony here at Media Mall? Jarrod: Yes Big fan
Martin: A few years yes so what are your
favorite things about Media Mall? Jarrod: Media Mall has been such a huge help for me
when I first approached Tony it was years years ago and he’s just look I’m
thinking I’m doing this that and I said this is a great opportunity for the
community and he turned around and his team helped out they ran they run all my
websites that’s cool and they also help with my election campaign for when I was
running for the City of Ottawa 2018 municipal election in Orleans
I didn’t win but it was a great experience and I couldn’t have done it
without part of the support from Media Mall and it’s such a cool setup having multiple specialists in
different industries working out of this location and when they get a
project you do it all in-house you go down the hallway and say okay we need
videography photography ICO and marketing yeah and they work together
and so it’s not disjointed. It’s a really cool model no I love in the hot desks
Martin: We love having you around here you know doing your rounds Oh stopping by
it’s always a pleasure to see you around the office?
Martin: About two years now yeah
well over a year and a half and it’s been good so I’ve had the pleasure to
work in traditional real estate offices yeah and then working in a collaborative
space like this one and by far the collaborative space is much better well
Jarrod: We talked we talked earlier about the value of being around other
entrepreneurs yes this is default for sure
this is what I’m talking about yes you’re in the coffee really the lunch
room talking to people and maybe you’re gonna talk about business maybe you’re
gonna talk about a new collaborative issue yes or a client that you could
talk to work together yeah or send referrals to one another
oh no for sure in the real estate office it was always real estate all the time
here it’s like you talk a bit with a programmer and then you talk a bit with
a brand you know manager yeah and then and that’s priceless
you know it’s great and especially when you like with the hard desks right it’s
like maybe people can rent by the hour of the day or yes weird rooms it’s
different people all the time coming in yeah and it’s even more of a great value
for networking I love something else I love about medium ah that’s great yeah
good well thank you so much for being open about the part of this podcast
thank you very much thank you everybody we will see you next time on the medium
all podcast

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