How To Build Your Team Effectively (with Ashley Cox): Episode 313

Ashley Cox is the Founder and CEO of SproutHR, a boutique firm that helps women-owned businesses hire and lead thriving teams with smart and simple strategies.  After spending a decade of her career working in Leadership and Human Resources for companies like Kroger and J.Crew, Ashley set out to start something of her own in 2015. Tapping into her background in corporate HR and professional training, she aspired to help her peers in the small business world with their biggest pain points: hiring and leading teams. Ashley is also the author of Transform Your Stories, where she helps women overcome the stories that are holding them back so they can become confident and courageous leaders who impact the world.

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  • Ashley says that when you scale your team effectively, there’s an opportunity to provide careers for people, to create freedom and space for you to live your life, and provide that opportunity for others on your team.
  • She says that she is very passionate about creating jobs for moms.
  • You’re not going to be good at everything in your business. It’s easy to think that we can just do tasks ourselves, but reminder: you can hire people who are good at tasks you’re not.
  • Ashley says to think of hiring people as a big deal. Don’t take it lightly. It’s okay to be a little nervous, to have it feel a little hard to let things go off your plate.
  • What is your mission? This is where you’re going to start your hiring process. Start by asking yourself what your non negotiable are- what are you not willing to sacrifice in order to grow your team?
  • If you feel you’re not ready to hire someone, Ashley challenges you to think of how you can. She has a 3 step payroll challenge!
  • 3 Step Payroll Challenge:
    • 1. Ask yourself what is a reasonable amount amount for you to invest in hiring in your business? Set up a new bank account for this “payroll”. Deposit whatever your amount is for a 3 months. ($200 a week) Whatever your goal is, deposit that weekly. Don’t self sacrifice! Pay yourself too.
    • Then ask yourself these questions:
      • Could you make the weekly deposits?
      • Were you able to pay yourself?
      • Did you have to pull from the payroll account any time?
    • If the answer is yes, yes and no, then you know that you can confidently afford to hire!
    • Bonus tip: Don’t pay that person from your payroll account once they’re hired, pay them out of your income, and that bank account becomes a 3 month savings reserve!
  • 3 Common Hiring Mistakes:
    • **Focus on your hiring process, before worrying to fire somebody. “Stop borrowing the futures problems, and lets focus on todays opportunities”
    • 1. Don’t hire clones. Your business doesn’t need another of you.
    • 2. Don’t hire a drone. Ask the right questions in the interview- you want to hire someone who wants to move your vision forward, not someone who will maintain status quo.
    • 3. Don’t hire a unicorn. Even as much as we all love them, when we hire a unicorn, we put way too much in the job description, and leads often to disappointment. Hire people for a skillset that your business needs to grow and thrive in the future.
  • Ashley says onboarding is so important. 1/4 new hires quit in the first 90 days. What’s going on? 94% of employees says that they would have stayed if it weren’t for training. Slow down, and help your new hires learn their job. Ashley says minimum 90 days of an onboarding process is important for new hires.
  • 5 years in 5 minutes: of course we want someone to come in and be able to take over, but in the beginning it will be a lot of you training and helping them, so that they get it in the long run. Be realistic and reasonable so you don’t loose them.
  • How long until you realize if they’re a good hire or not? It depends. Make sure if you hired them because of all the qualifications, that you give them the change and time to learn the skills you wanted done in your business. Start with self assessment, and if you’ve done everything you can, have a conversation with positive intent.


  • (1:50) A little more about Ashley Cox
  • (2:20) What’s possible when you grow your team?
  • (4:19) It’s really draining spending time doing something you’re not good at.
  • (6:07) Advice on hiring the right people.
  • (8:30) What are your non negotiable to grow your business?
  • (9:09) What if you don’t think you can afford to hire someone?
  • (9:55) 3 Step Payroll Challenge
  • (13:52) 3 common hiring mistakes
  • (17:50) Hiring based on personalities
  • (19:04) How to effectively onboard somebody.
  • (21:25) Avoid the ‘wing it’ approach.
  • (21:50) Avoid the fire hose effect.
  • (23:44) 5 years in 5 minutes.
  • (24:47) How long until you realize if they’re a good hire or not?
  • (27:04) What does it mean to Ashley to make an impact?
  • (28:40) One of the best books Ashley’s read?
  • (30:10) Where to connect with Ashley Cox:


“There’s a better way, you don’t have to be doing all the things”

“You can either have growth, or you can have control, but you can’t have both”

“Nothing changes if you don’t change anything.”

“You can’t self sacrifice in order to hire help.”

“We can pay livable wages, and we can get the help we need in our business”

“Stop borrowing the futures problems, and lets focus on todays opportunities”

“The best way for adults to learn is to make mistakes.”



Connect with Ashley Cox:


Hiring quiz:



Books Mentioned in the Episode:

Essentialism by Greg McCuin

Watch Full Episode:

How To Build Your Team Effectively (with Ashley Cox): Episode 313How To Build Your Team Effectively (with Ashley Cox): Episode 313

Hey! I’m Rachel. I’m a former Big Ten volleyball player turned entrepreneur and professional cheese taster (kidding–but that would be a sweet job).

I’m a Pinterest strategist for female entrepreneurs who are sick of struggling on Facebook & Instagram and want to automate their traffic and get more leads on autopilot. I’ve used Pinterest to increase my blog traffic by 34,000/month…for free!

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