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Dec 20, 2022

Have you ever thought about being SANTA as a seasonal side hustle?

Today we’re seeing a much greater degree of diversity in Santas so it’s opening the door to many who in the past wouldn’t have considered it an option.

If you check out today’s episode artwork, you’ll see a photo of our guest Santa.  Underneath that yak hair beard is Melissa Rickard. Yes, this Santa is female, but you’d never know it.

In addition to her full-time work as a surgical director for a retina practice, Melissa has been donning the red suit and sharing her ho ho ho’s for 28 years!

In this episode of Side Hustle Hero, you’ll hear about what income range you can expect - some of her friends make upwards of $40,000 a year as Santa - what you’re looking at for start up costs, and where to turn for gigs.

Be sure to catch the end of episode takeaway where I’ll give you a little nudge to get you thinking about why volunteering should be one aspect of your life, if it’s not already.

What You’ll Hear:

02:12 HOHOHO

04:00 28 years of being Santa

05:01 How Melissa came to be Santa…and why she continues

08:55 Number of gigs per year

09:28 “Live” emails 4 hours a night

10:15 President of local Lion’s Club

10:33 Sources of work

11:45 Hourly rate

16:25 and Mitch Allen

14:48 Professional Santa groups and associations

18:05 Santa’s start up costs

19:25 Earnings

20:31 Hasn’t yet been busted by a kid

22:23 The power of touch

23:29 Yak hair beards

24:17 Why Melissa continues to be Santa year after year

27:04 Melissa’s best tip for taking action


28:50 Check out a Lion's club

30:00 The power of giving

30:16 Is Rotary for you?

31:05 The emotional compensation is off the charts

31:08 What organization would be the best fit for you?


Connect with Santa Melissa:

Check out these international service organizations:

Connect with Joan:

Be on the show!