Growing up, I was aware that I was part of different groups or communities. I had one group of friends at school, and another group at church, and then various friends around the neighborhood. There was a little overlap, but not a lot.

When I got to college, the groups got larger and more diversified. I had my art major friends, friends from the dorm (which was part of a somewhat larger circle that included the girls we hung out with), and then the friends of whomever I was dating at the time. Each group had a different flavor.

After college, the groups became even more polarized. There were people I never saw outside of work, church, art shows, or what have you. Only recently have I started to see more overlap between my different circles, which is really pretty nice.

For me, my groups are:

  1. My peers: professional designers and marketers
  2. My customers: people who pay me to design their websites and marketing materials
  3. Church: people I worship with on a regular basis
  4. Family: my own blood relatives plus my in-laws.
  5. Artists: Other creatives in Nashville or on the Internet
  6. Art fans/collectors/buyers: people who buy my artwork or prints of urban landscapes
  7. Nashville tech geeks: The people who go to BarCamp and PodCamp and other such events around town
  8. Friends from college, high school, etc.: Not as large a group, although Facebook does a lot to keep me passively informed.

Here’s the thing: with each group, there’s an opportunity. An opportunity to grow personally or financially. There’s also an opportunity to give and share. That is ultimately more rewarding than money, (but money is somewhat harder to come by and it keeps the government from taking away everything I have.) Because when you share in such a way that the other person is better for it, you are better, too. So be generous.

Some people will try to take advantage of you. Share anyway. More often than not, the right people will come.

Who are your groups? What can you share with them?

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