The Solopreneur’s Toolkit: Organization Consultant

The go-to resources that make life and work better

Groove
Groove With Us
7 min readMar 23, 2022

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Tirza Magdiel is an organization consultant focused on growth, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Tirza has worked with arts organizations and nonprofits in both the United States and Indonesia, and with a passion for empowering others in their journeys, also worked as a pastor (and is still a licensed minister!)

She gets her energy outside of work from hanging with close friends, adventuring in new places, and enjoying fantasy and adventure novels and movies.

Daily toolkit:

The go-to resources that make life and work better.

Favorite tools for…

Connecting:

Before, when I was living in the states, I actually loved going to networking events. I found random ones or recommendations from friends. I like to go to networking events and usually observe, but then talk to people, ask them their stories. The big thing I love is asking people for their stories.

That’s probably what attracted me to joining Groove in the first place — that connecting aspect of it.

Finances:

My best friend, who’s an accountant 😉 I also took a class in personal finance in college a long time ago, and I think that shaped how I look at finances in general.

Creating:

My go-to would be Canva. It’s the first thing I see on my browser. Now they have video editing, so I feel like it’s even better!

Editing:

I do a lot of writing, both personally and professionally, and I use Grammarly.

I also have friends who were English majors or are writers and so sometimes I ask them to edit, but that first line of defense is Grammarly. I’ll sometimes talk through those edits with different people after. I use the Grammarly app on my computer — I can type directly into it, or upload a document and they do their thing!

I do have a rule that I have to finish writing something first before editing, if not, I’m just editing on the go and that’s causing anxiety.

Mental health and unplugging:

I love the Shine app.

They have a lot of meditations. The initial reason why I downloaded that app was because I had trouble sleeping, and they have these bedtime stories that I would have running and then would fall asleep in like three minutes.

They have other meditations, different daily check-ins, little articles or meditations that work for, say, commuting or increasing productivity or letting go of something.

One of the things that I love using that for is their meditation for when you brush your teeth. I actually spend more time brushing my teeth and not rushing through it!

Learning and Inspiration:

Your work media diet:

I don’t like sitting and watching stuff a lot. And so, I listen to podcasts, especially while taking a walk:

Unemployable by Brian Clark: It’s especially good for anyone with a wavy career path.

FYI: For Your Innovation by ARK Invest: My accountant best friend was the one who recommended this for me because of the investment and finances angle, but it talks a lot about different innovations and ideas that are new in technology. I really like keeping up with that.

WorkLife by Adam Grant: I love following Adam Grant. I like that rather than putting ourselves in little boxes of, “Oh this is my work, this is my job, these are my friends,” he understands that a lot of these things are interconnected for us as humans.

Ground News: I follow the news a lot. This app reveals different biases in the news and gives a more neutral perspective. Along with seeing how current events unfold, I like to follow the news in terms looking at leadership — I like to look at world leaders and how they’re acting.

The books that have changed how you’ve approached your work and opened your eyes to something new:

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: I’m rereading this! I do my morning pages in Groove. That’s usually the first thing I do.

Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln by James C. Humes: This is the first book that came to mind. It’s not currently related to my work, but I read it in college for a class. It’s a think book that talks about public speaking, leadership and addressing people. I was a pastor for 11 years, so I did a lot of public speaking. I still do some public speaking, so that was interesting for me — thinking about how to address people. And I think that’s even incorporated in how I speak to clients, how I do workshops, how I do presentations now.

Optimizing the Power of Action Learning by Michael Marquardt, Shannon Banks, Peter Cauweiler and Choon Seng Ng: I read this in grad school. The reason why I think this book really transformed how I think is because it was my first introduction to coaching and working with teams, and working with communication in teams. That was the seed of understanding you can actually empower people and teams to work better and communicate better. So that’s kind of where it started for me.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath: I love helping people through transitions and organizational changes in leadership. Our lives are in seasons, and this looks at our psychology and how our brain responds to changes in our professional life and our personal life. I love talking about that, thinking through that and even walking with people through that.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: This also delves into how our minds work. I’m the kind of person who likes to take action really quickly, and just jump into things. It talks a lot about slowing down and taking time to really process through everything. That’s a big theme that I got from it and it was a big eye opener for me — even applied to my interpersonal relationships. I need to process through things, and slow down. That doesn’t equal a lack of ‘doing.’

Know-How

The part of your job that takes longer than people think:

Tirza: Client prep or meeting prep. I do a lot of this in Groove. I take the time to prepare by actually getting to know things like the culture of the organization. That could include coming into the organization and just observing or even in pre-COVID times, sharing a meal with people from the organization. Then you really get to hear stories and different anecdotes and you can glean what some of the issues or some of the challenges are, and better understand the overall culture and dynamics of how things work.

That’s a lot of what I do to prep the action points and action plans that I come up with.

Your best hire:

It wasn’t a full hire, but a subcontractor. One of my friends is certified to administer this assessment called PDP proscans.

It’s a type of assessment for teams and individuals and how they interact in the workplace. I’m certified in Enneagram, so I love being able to integrate different assessments. I know that I can’t be certified with everything, so this helps bring in options to different teams. That way they don’t have to do Enneagram because I do Enneagram. They don’t have do PDP proscan if they want to do the Enneagram. Now I’m able to provide clients with a richer range of options for assessments. I subcontract her a lot 🙂

I also subcontract a videographer, because I don’t edit videos. I don’t do photography other than from my iPhone, so I love working with people who actually know what they’re doing so I don’t have to try to learn from scratch how to do that. That’s been really good for me.

It also builds your network, because when you work with other people, they can refer you to others.

Reflection:

Do you have a mentor?

I have several!

I started having a mentor when I was in college. I talked to her more about life stuff. I was about to graduate and I didn’t know what I was going to do or what I wanted. I thought that I wanted to focus more on academics, and she was doing her doctorate at the time.

She’s a very independent, strong, person, so I wanted to know more about her life in academics. She became my first mentor and I’m still connected to her.

After grad school, I was working at a nonprofit and I met a board member who became my mentor. I realized that you don’t need to have one mentor for the rest of your life or one mentor for everything you do. There are people who have walked through a little bit of the life you want to learn about. They have walked through this journey and you want to know their story and see how you can learn from them.

When I came back to Indonesia and I was a pastor, I had a coach and a mentor. I would meet with them separately once a month and talk through what it looked like for me being in churches or in ministry and what I want to do next. Even when I was moving towards what I do now with consulting, that was something that I processed through with them.

What’s something you want to intentionally make more time for?

Myself.

I think especially for someone who is in the people business, I have had to relearn how to take care of myself — feel out what I need and then communicate what I need.

My work usually comes with iInteresting emotions. I worked a lot with teenagers, for almost a decade. It’s a lot of giving of yourself and your time and being available for a lot of people, a lot of the time.

I want to relearn how to communicate boundaries, how to I take time for myself in this season in my life. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been physically and emotionally, just because I am learning to listen to myself. For example, “my body’s a little bit more tired today. So I’ll go to sleep early and not feel guilty about that or not have to justify taking care of myself.

When I say I want to focus on myself, that’s relearning how to listen to my body, how to listen to myself and give myself the care that I need, or even advocating to the people who care about me, how to best care for me.

Are you on a wavy path looking for more support, accountability and focus? Join Groove’s online coworking community to get sh*t done and have a good time while you’re at it.

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