She’s invented sustainable concrete, run award-winning wedding venues and worked in business development for a variety of firms.
After more than 25 years of experience, Ameé Quiriconi of Snohomish has channeled all that entrepreneurship into becoming a business consultant, podcast host and published author.
Her new book, “The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business: What Every Woman Needs to Know to Be a Courageous, Authentic and Unstoppable Entrepreneur,” is 300 pages of research and recommendations Quiriconi has collected over the years — the stuff she wishes she’d known at the start of her career in business.
“There are some legitimate systemic hurdles that work against women,” Quiriconi said. “Some of those hurdles work against us in being successful entrepreneurs and inform our belief systems about ourselves. Women struggle with believing they’re worth more, which then makes it harder to charge more, and it makes it harder to ask for more.”
The self-help guide asks readers to reflect on their childhoods to understand more about their work ethics and self-sabotage habits. Quiriconi argues there is an overwhelming correlation between the success of a business and the mental health of its employees.
“What we do in business is we make mental health our personal problem, and we think that it stays right at the door,” she said. “When we walk into work, whatever was bothering us at home stays at home, and whatever happens at work doesn’t come home.”
In Chapter 4, “How to Be Paid What You’re Worth,” Quiriconi walks readers through various business scenarios and earning models. It’s here that she addresses the gender pay gap in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3% of men’s — and that gap was even wider for minorities.
Not only that, the author said she’s noticed that women often undercharge for products or services they offer. This fear of raising prices is a product of societal expectations, she said, because women are encouraged to avoid coming off as overly confident.
She admits she’s struggled with many of the obstacles her book addresses, including mental health. So she decided to launch a podcast called “One Broken Mom” to talk about it.
The podcast covers mental health, parenting and self-improvement. Since 2018, she’s produced more than 100 episodes and featured dozens of experts in those fields. Quiriconi’s podcast inspired her to write down knowledge she gained until there was enough material to fill the pages of a book.
Quiriconi, 49, earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in environment and community from Antioch University-Seattle.
After working for the engineering firm Abacus for seven years, in 2002 Quiriconi invented a recycled building material used to make counters and tabletops and sold it through her company, Tiger Mountain Innovations. In 2011, she operated the Snohomish wedding venues Woodland Meadow Farms and Dairyland.
Then she worked for a number of area companies as a general manager and director of development, which led her to found the consulting company Activity Girl in 2017. (That name came from the title of a Joan Jett song.)
“I was providing marketing and branding support to local businesses that wanted to replicate the successes I’ve had,” she said. “And that’s when the coaching actually started.”
Activity Girl has given Quiriconi an opportunity to pair her entrepreneurship know-how with her desire to help others. In addition to leadership and business coaching, she holds workshops and is a motivational speaker.
Wendy Poischbeg, the economic development and communications manager for the city of Snohomish, said she’s witnessed Quiriconi’s knack for consulting first-hand.
“I work with startups on a daily basis, and I send clients to her because I know she gives really useful, honest mentorship,” Poischbeg said. “She’s empathetic, but she’s no-nonsense. She’s not there to tell you what you want to hear. She’s there to tell you sometimes what you don’t want to hear, but what will actually make you successful.”
Quiriconi said she enjoys helping her clients achieve success through hard work. She said the “The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business” should help them even more.
“You have to understand all the land mines that are out there in front of you,” she said. “You can’t just pick one and blast through it if you’ve got all these other things holding you back. That’s literally what I do now. It’s like a mission and a business, all in one.”
More about Ameé
Ameé Quiriconi, 49, of Snohomish, is the founder of Activity Girl LLC. As a leadership and business coach, she helps organizations maximize results by improving workplace culture through the blending of emotional and business intelligence. She is the host of the mental-health podcast “One Broken Mom,” and the author of “Turn Your Rural Property into a Wedding Venue Business” and “The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business.”
“The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business”
By Ameé Quiriconi
Mango. 224 pages. $18.95.
Washington North Coast Magazine
This article is featured in the fall issue of Washington North Coast Magazine, a supplement of The Daily Herald. Explore Snohomish and Island counties with each quarterly magazine. Each issue is $3.99. Subscribe to receive all four editions for $14 per year. Call 425-339-3200 or go to www.washingtonnorthcoast.com for more information