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The Man Behind the eSAX Fedora

Published on June 27 2016 by
Adam Viola
Marketing Manager

When people think about Jarrod Goldsmith, the first thing that usually comes to mind is his majestic fedora. Jarrod has been a key factor in Ottawa’s entrepreneur and small business progression by creating networking events that bring ~450 entrepreneurs together every three months. But who is Jarrod Goldsmith and how did eSAX all get started? 


At a young age Jarrod knew that he was passionate about music; so becoming a musician seemed to be the right course of action for him to take. Although there were doubts from his family and friends, he never allowed himself to get discouragement or veer away from his ultimate goal – which was to have music continue to play an important role in his life. 


When Jarrod attended McGill University, he did not receive his honours in the topic that everyone thought he would have. Instead, he went completely left field and received his honours degree in anthropology (Although he continued performing in bands at McGill and around Montreal). Once he completed his undergraduate studies, an anthropology Masters program at the University of Alberta was the next step in his journey. 


Continuing where he left off at McGill, Jarrod was not only involved in extracurricular activities, but continued to also be active within the music community, auditioning for bands and playing many venues around Edmonton. Over the years he had the opportunity to travel considerably, pursuing both archeology and performing music. After graduating, Jarrod never knew where he was going to land his next gig or potential job. Government work seemed to be the way to go, but after many contracts within different departments, his options were spreading thin. Jarrod Goldsmith did what everyone told him not to do – he started a band and thus SAX Appeal was born.


Since very few people have ever heard of a saxophone group such as this and considering there was simply no market for an all saxophone ensemble, Jarrod needed to create one. This took a lot of networking. After connecting with all of the hotels, event planners, wedding companies and corporate communities around Ottawa, Jarrod looked for additional contacts through Chambers of Commerce. 


Usually when a business owner joins a Chambers of Commerce, it is because they reside or do business within the boundaries of that specific geographical community, but not Jarrod.  Since he would take a gig anywhere around town, he joined ALL of the Chambers of Commerce in the Nation’s Capital, and in doing so, realized that there was one fundamental flaw that he could not get out of his head; each Chamber of Commerce often do not collaborate with one another.


Jarrod began hosting events every three months; originally to coincide with the Ontario Self Employment Benefits Program. These events bring the various chambers together to help fellow entrepreneurs and businesses around the community. No other organization had ever done this before. Many entrepreneurs face a similar problem; they were inexperienced startups that did not have the familiarity of networking. 


eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience ) was soon born.  These events allow startups and small businesses to connect with one another and build partnerships, leads, and relationships within Ottawa's business community. An eSAX event is not your typical event – it actually has all of the bells and whistles of a celebrity event! It is a venue where other like-minded individuals can network and build their business, while a unique live saxophone ensemble (provided by the one and only SAX Appeal) sets the nights’ atmosphere. Events like these are not places where others hand out their business cards like a feeding frenzy; it's a place where compatible professionals celebrate small businesses in their community. These events have become so popular that #eSAX trends on Twitter. 


When Jarrod isn’t at networking events, or hosting his own, he can be found creating YouTube videos through his “Ask The Fedora” channel. These videos discuss a wide-range of networking and businesses tips, and provide people with the encouragement and knowledge to better approach their networking endeavors, while making them less stressful and more successful! 


A lot of people can get discouraged from their dreams. Many people face obstacles that seem too high to climb. Countless numbers of people bail before the ship sinks. He not only did what his peers said he couldn’t, but he found a unique trait along the way that allowed him to create his own environment where he could succeed. Not many are willing to take these tough steps, but all of us owe it to ourselves to at least try. Jarrod is a perfect example of the notion of what you believe, you can achieve.   


For information on upcoming events, and to receive networking tips and advice, like and follow eSAX on Facebook, as well as Ask The Fedora on Twitter. You never know where you’ll find the fedora next!


Check out this short promo video for an idea on what to expect at an eSAX event.


Purchase your tickets here 

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