Top Podcasts: Recommended by Bham Entrepreneurs

Top Podcasts: Recommended by Bham Entrepreneurs


As you probably already know, podcasts are a very valuable resource for small business owners. Do you need to learn about marketing or SEO? There’s a podcast for that. Do you need to learn how to scale your business? There’s definitely lots of podcasts for that. We’ve done the hard work for you and taken recommendations from Forge members on their favorite business related podcasts.

Masters of Scale

Masters of Scale is hosted by Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn. Reid shows how companies grow from zero to a gazillion, testing his theories with legendary leaders. This podcast is the first American media program to commit to a 50-50 gender balance for guests and it won the 2018 People’s Voice Webby for Best Business Podcast. Masters of Scale is definitely a Forge member favorite!

Perpetual Traffic

Every week Molly, Keith, and Ralph have shared cutting-edge paid traffic strategies they’ve used with their clients and in their businesses. They also share the struggles of digital marketing and online advertising and how they overcame them. If you’re hoping to acquire more customers online, Perpetual Traffic is perfect for you!

How I Built This

If you love storytelling and business, this is the right podcast for you. Guy Raz talks with the some of the most influential companies to learn how they began. How I Built This is full of inspirational stories from lots of entrepreneurs and founders. We love hearing about the humble beginnings of such influential companies- so be sure to look up How I Built This. 

Without Fail

We all know that any big successes were accompanied by some failures too. Without Fail is a new show from Gimlet Media that asks people who have pursued incredible things: What worked? What didn’t? And why? It’s hosted by Alex Blumberg. We believe that if you’re a business owner, it’s definitely worth your time!

Goal Digger

Hosted by Jenna Kutcher, the Goal Digger podcast answers many questions we have as entrepreneurs: How can I make money online? Am I ready to leave my 9 to 5 job? How can I grow my Instagram following?  Jenna shares plenty of tangible tips that she personally used to become a self-made millionaire. Listen to Goal Digger for inspiration, a unique perspective and plenty of interviews with industry leaders.


Under the umbrella of Dave Ramsey, the Entreleadership Podcast is hosted by Ken Coleman. You can find interviews with some of the top minds in the business world like Seth Godin, Donald Miller, Jim Collins and many more. You can never have enough leadership advice so we suggest checking it out!


If you try any of these out for the first time, let us know your thoughts! Do you have other business related podcasts you love? Tell us about them! We’d love to add to our list. 

3 Mistakes of DIY Marketing

3 Mistakes of DIY Marketing

Forge member Jacqueline Jones wrote this blog post about mistakes we make in DIY marketing- we found it extremely helpful! Check out the original blog post here.

A large majority of businesses handle their marketing in-house.  Unfortunately, marketing efforts often get overlooked or handed off to someone who knows only a little about how to manage marketing for a brand.

If you’re a “solopreneur”, you may find that you simply have to do everything yourself because outsourcing can be costly.

There is nothing wrong with DIY marketing, but there are a few things you should attempt to avoid.

1. Only talking to your audience when you’re selling.

The majority of small businesses find themselves grasping at straws when it’s time to meet sales numbers.  So naturally, social media posts and emails only go out when it’s time to ask for money.

Your brand’s content strategy should focus more on building a relationship with and educating your audience.  If they trust you, they will spend money with you.  When they spend money with you, they shouldn’t feel like they had a cheap one-night-stand because the communication ended with the sale.

Understanding the process you want your customer to experience is extremely important to building and maintaining a profitable relationship.  Most marketers call this sales-funnel development.

2. Not using Call-To-Actions.  

Publishing great content is a wonderful step to achieve in the process of marketing your business.  It’s just pretty pictures and nice copy if you don’t have a call-to-action.

CTA’s tell your audience where to go next.  This means you have to make a place for them to go before asking them to.  Don’t forget to add links, instructions, lead pages, or whatever is the next step for potential customers to take.  This is a common, yet avoidable, pitfall.

3. Thinking social media is all necessary to market your brand.

Do not do think that social media is all you need.  Because social media platforms are free and accessible to all, many people feel that’s all they need to market their business.  It’s just not true.

Social media is only one aspect of marketing a business.   It’s a great tool, but should only be a part of your process.  Marketing 101 would teach you the 4 P’s of marketing are price, place, promotion, and product.  Social media falls under promotion, as does digital and print advertising, website development, t-shirts, and pens.

Marketing is far bigger than your social media presence.  Spend time creating a strategy that covers all bases.  It will make marketing your brand much easier and far more effective.

These are simple mistakes.  Mistakes can be corrected.  Invest the time, money, and effort in properly marketing your business.  Doing what you love and you are passionate about is, actually, the easy part.  Do what it takes to take your passion to the right audience.

Year End Review of Forge – 2018 at a Glance

Year End Review of Forge – 2018 at a Glance

After opening in September of 2017, Forge has grown and changed more than we could have imagined! We’ve learned so much over 2018 and thought it would be fun to recap the highlights of the Forge family over this last year.

We’ve saved a lot of entrepreneurs and remote workers from overcrowded, stuffy coffee shops. Our members love coming to Forge’s atmosphere with an unlimited supply of coffee and tea- plus a fun community of hustlers!

here’s what Forge can save you from

The size of the Forge family has continued to grow over 2018!

In January, we had 67 members.

In December, we have 121 members!

We have nearly doubled in size.

Celebrating Forge’s 1st birthday with some members and friends.

This year we hosted 22 educational Lunch & Learn events!

We learned about all kinds of things:

Josh Andrews of Gatehouse Law teaches at Forge each month.

In 2018 we hosted 12 Free Fridays for the public to come work at Forge! Free Fridays are the perfect time for people to try out coworking and experience the environment at Forge.

Forge also hosted 4 pitch night events to learn about new Birmingham businesses- Your Big Idea.

At Your Big Idea, three businesses present their big idea for feedback from the audience and panelists. It’s not a competition but an opportunity to support the growing businesses in Birmingham!

Your Big Idea: a pitch night for Birmingham businesses.

We organized 5 Founders Fridays to hear the journey of different Birmingham founders.

Erin Holtz- Founder of Pure Fitness

Not only do we focus on educational events to serve our members but we host lots of the fun, networking events. Along with several happy hours, we’ve also held yoga and pilates classes. The wine and chocolate pairing event with Match Chocolate was one of our favorites!

Kala Northrup- Founder of Match Chocolate

Free pilates class taught by Club Pilates

We love celebrating holidays around Forge- it’s a great excuse for a happy hour or friendly competition between Forge members!

Decorating pumpkins at Halloween

Pie competition to celebrate Thanksgiving

Holiday party with Forge friends and homemade eggnog

We’ve also doubled our monthly conference room bookings! Forge opens up its conference rooms and meeting spaces for both members and visitors.

The Vulcan Room with seating for 8 people

We truly love building the coworking community in Birmingham and connecting with entrepreneurs across the city. We can’t wait to see how the Forge family grows and what’s in store for 2019!

If you’re interested in trying out a Coworking Membership, join us in January! Buy one month and get the second month FREE! Email us for details:

Retha Nichole, Small Business and Life Coach, on giving entrepreneurs the push they need to succeed

Retha Nichole, Small Business and Life Coach, on giving entrepreneurs the push they need to succeed

Bham Now recently featured Forge member Retha Nichole in this article. Retha is a small business coach- read more about how she got where she is today!



Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but realized maybe the million reasons why it would be extremely difficult, and then just given up? Or are you a small business owner who just needs a little extra push here and some help with administrative tasks there? Enter Retha Nichole.





If you’re wondering, “There is one person who can do all of that for me?,” the answer is yes. Nichole has spent her life working hard to get to where she is today, and she wants to work with you to make your dreams and goals a reality.



What Does A Small Business Coach Do?



In short, a small business coach can do or be anything that you specifically need in your small business. On a day-to-day basis, Nichole does everything from helping with administrative tasks to setting up systems for her clients, and even encouraging them and helping them really focus in on their goals. She refers to entrepreneurs as ‘visionaries’ and describes her process of working to help her visionary clients focus on the here and now so they don’t get caught up in the future.





“Daily, I coach small business entrepreneurs on how to make their business more efficient and better. What i’ve found is, it’s not necessarily that small business people don’t have the ‘business gene’ — it’s that they need someone to keep them accountable. Most small business people are visionaries, and they want to do and run and be everything. But there has to be someone in their world that says “let’s stay focused on this, because this is where we are.”




How Does Being A Certified Life Coach Fit In?



“The reason I started to get into life coaching is because I found that for small business people, if there are pieces of their life that aren’t right, it hurts their business.”





Nichole explains that for many small business owners, their business is their life. So, while we may not think of one small thing in our daily life affecting our work life, it is not the same for entrepreneurs. When something is off in their day to day life, it can greatly affect their business. However, most people do not think that way — something that Nichole is hoping to change. She works to make entrepreneurs aware of this so that they can adjust and grow in their business as they need to.



Nichole’s Background



Nichole has had a wide range of jobs. She grew up in Texas, and after college, she worked as a flight attendant so she could travel. After that, she moved to Atlanta and worked in high end real estate. She eventually began owning her own real estate and learning about entrepreneurship and business-building.



From her time in Atlanta, she was “bit by the small-business bug”, but she also had another unique talent: she loved helping people in the field of small business. (It’s evident as soon as you meet her — Nichole is one of those wonderful people who truly wants everyone to succeed.)



Next Up: Coaching


She decided to put her passion and talent for helping others in the small business field to work and she created her own business, Retha Nichole. She works with all different kinds of businesses.



Following a move to Birmingham and the unexpected passing of her husband, Nichole decided to open a bakery. However, she soon learned how much personal life can affect business, and made the difficult decision to close the bakery.



She uses this real-life experience to help her clients maneuver the tricky work-life balance that is especially difficult for entrepreneurs. Nichole has since gone through many seasons of life and is now in the process of getting her life coaching certification to be able to help people even more.


You can learn more about her personal story via her website, Instagram or Podcast! Yep, she is a busy woman.



Hear Nichole Speak


Nichole speaks at Christian women’s conferences throughout the year. Some of the topics she speaks on are:

  • Finding your God-given purpose
  • Pursuing everyday balance
  • Finding God in trials and suffering
  • Living in community
  • Prioritizing abundance in Jesus


What’s So Great About Working From Forge?



Nichole has her own office space at Forge, and she loves the energy of the coworking space. In addition to the cool, modern space, Nichole shared that she loves being around others who are working hard to achieve a goal. “For entrepreneurs, we are in a world of the internet,” Nichole tells me. “So it allows you to work from home; and while I think you can be successful working from home, it takes a lot of discipline. There is something about being in a space with others that drives you and pushes you to be better. I chose to work at Forge for that exact reason.”

Forge’s Christmas Wish List

Forge’s Christmas Wish List

Are you having trouble deciding what to put on your Christmas wish list? Look no further! We asked the Forge members for all of their Christmas ideas and we have a wide variety of great suggestions!


1. Lindsay: “I really want a smoker… I love to cook for my friends and family and feel like you gotta have the right tools for the job! I’ve gotten pretty good on the grill and now wanna try the slow style of a smoker.”

2. Ginny: “TBH, I want new tires so I don’t have to buy them myself!”

3. Courtney: “A Razor scooter that I can ride around Forge!”

4. Bailey: “An Away Luggage suitcase is definitely on my list this year. As my family lives on the West Coast, I tend to travel a bunch throughout the year and this suitcase is beyond easy to travel with, super durable and even has a USB port to charge your phone or iPad!”



5. Emilie: “AirBnB gift card! I’m a big fan of gifting experiences over “stuff.” My husband and I love travel! Over the past 7 years we’ve explored from Bali to Ecuador & so much in-between. AirBnB gift cards gives us a personalized gift we absolutely will use, but with the luxury of using it on our terms.”

6. Connor: “Nintendo 64 – Our team at forge needs one for ‘productivity breaks.'”

7. Kellyn: “I encourage everyone to give to their passions.  Do you love animals?  There is the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.  Do you want to lend a helping hand to Birmingham’s homeless population?  How about the First Light Shelter.  And what about supporting the amazing work of educators and therapists helping those with developmental challenges?  Give to The Exceptional Foundation.”

8. Glenny: “An Instax share printer. I have been a photo booth devotee for decades and I got my first Instax camera 10 years ago, before the current craze. My photographer husband realized I would love having a photo booth in my purse. Film for the Polaroid-style camera comes in packs of 10. That constraint makes me more thoughtful about how many pictures I take. Now that there’s an Instax printer, however, I am giddy and it’s hard to slow down. The Instax Share app allows you to print any photo on your phone in an Instax format. I have been so pleased to send actual printed pictures to friends and fam. Deciding what to print has made me thoughtful about the pictures that matter most to me. I would love for more people to have that experience.”



9. Pierce: “I’d like to get a bass guitar for Christmas. I used to play and I’d like to pick it back up.”

10. Russell: “A nice DSLR Camera for those epic food pics!”

11. Rebecca: “Does wanting my LLC count?” <— yes it definitely does!

12. Kelsey: “Allbirds tennis shoes! Some friends say they’re the most comfortable shoes they own.”


13. Lauren: “Bluetooth headphones- they would make my life so much easier!”

14. Jami: “One item on my Christmas list is a trip to Disney. It’s actually a gift I am giving AND getting.  Long story short, my husband and I weren’t able to go on our honeymoon due to a massive blizzard. He commented to me earlier this year that he’d never been to Disney and was bummed about it. I’m surprising him with a Disney make-up honeymoon in the spring.”

15. Retha: “The calm blanket! It will help me rest better when I’m at home and need to stop working!”