Santa Job or Passion Project?

Yesterday I drove by a children’s play center and I was reminded of a time Lori & I appeared there as Santa & Mrs. Claus. It was a Christmas party for the women and children of a local Women’s Shelter.

A few blocks away I passed a park with a Rec Center I appeared at for another group of disadvantaged children and their parents. This park was in the neighborhood of the home where I made a “Make-A-Wish” visit.

I drive these streets all of the time, and most times I don’t give much thought to these places. Yesterday for some reason was different. It’s difficult to figure out why we think what we think and when we think it.

During the 7 years that I was a volunteer Santa here in Southern Oregon, I made memories I’ll never forget.

I had never heard the phrase “passion projects” at that time, but that’s exactly what portraying Santa Claus was for me at that time… a PASSION PROJECT.

Of course, my Passion Project evolved. It turned into what is now referred to as a ‘Side-Hustle’  (a part-time job that you down on the side of your full-time job).

Over time my full-time job (I was a self-employed marketing consultant, coach & service provider) evolved into several “gig-jobs”. I have clients who hire me for in-person Santa appearances. I also get gigs as Santa for TV shows & commercials. I have a gig as a trainer, curator & host at the Santa Claus Conservatory. I still get gigs to provide marketing consulting & services. And of course, I still do volunteer work.

For a time I was thinking that my Passion Project had been replaced by “Gig Jobs” but the more I thought about the more I discovered that just isn’t the case, in fact, it’s the opposite. Gig Jobs have been added to my passion project!

ALL of the things I’m doing excite & inspire me. I do them for my own satisfaction and while I hope other like and benefit from what I do, I do what I do because I enjoy doing them… this is the definition of a Passion Project!

I bring this up as something to consider. Is your Santa portrayal a “Gig Job” or a “Passion Project”?

Of course, the words we use to describe the events of our lives have a huge impact on how we feel about things.

For example, if you say (think) “I’m really nervous about speaking before this big audience at this Tree Lighting ceremony.”  You ‘feel’ a certain way.

If, on the other hand, you say (think) “I’m really excited about speaking before this big audience at this Tree Lighting ceremony.” You feel a different way.

You might being thinking; BUT I’M NERVOUS NOT EXCITED!

Maybe that’s true… I don’t know, let’s say t is.

Are you still going to go do the event? My bet is yes.

Your thoughts have any impact on your performance?

Do you think your performance might be better if you were thinking you were excited rather than nervous?

Which state would you find more enjoyable?

The language we use and the questions we ask (think about) have a HUGE impact on our emotions. What if you asked yourself (or told yourself) that I’m 10% excited and 90% nervous.. Or maybe it’s 20% & 80%. 🙂

You get the idea. You can have fun with your thoughts… and my guess is that you will have more fun at your event, and the audience will too.

This is the same idea with your “gig-job”, “side-hustle”, Santa job, etc. Is your Santa portrayal actually a “passion project”?

A little food for thought.

2 thoughts on “Santa Job or Passion Project?”

  1. from day 1, 15 years ago, when Santa chose me, it has been exciting for me, NOT once have I ever been nervous. BUT then of course I am normally an excited person, just today my landscaper was listening to me extoll on the positives of the Instant Pot, pressure cooker. He told me you sound really excited about it, guess I will have to try one. Yes, I do tend to be excited. Maybe it comes from over 30 years of repressing emotions as a Police Officer. Now that I am retired I can show my feelings. I just LOVE being the guy in the red suit and yes I am always excited about an appearance, no matter how big or how private. Never nervous.

  2. Great post Ed, excellent food for thought, thank you for sharing. My experience portraying Santa thus far is without question a passion project. I think feeling this way will ultimately separate us from being either ordinary Santa’s, or extraordinary Santa’s!

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