Near-death experience inspires Lynnwood mom to follow new career path

Emilie Given

Three years ago, Emilie Given and her unborn son almost died in childbirth. They both recovered but the brush with death was an epiphany for the 29-year-old Lynnwood entrepreneur and mother of two: “It was my moment when I realized how precious time with my family is. I had the perfect job at Amazon headquarters, the best benefits, but I needed more time with my family. I had to figure this out.”

It was all about self discovery, she said. “What did I want to do? What are my passions?”

She had worked as an executive assistant for years. “I realized that I was well-suited to supportive roles and as a leader.”

Last July she went all in, quitting her job and launching her own business, She’s A Given, which provides the services of a virtual assistant, including event planning and tasks such as travel arrangements, marketing and social media. “A virtual assistant just means doing administrative work remotely,” she said, “which saves the client all the overhead, from the cost of employee benefits to office equipment.”

Growing her business meant working longer hours in the beginning, she admitted. “It was hard at first, getting it off the ground, but it’s so worth it. I got to go to my son’s preschool graduation and I can take him to a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day on a Monday,” Given said.

She wanted other mothers to be able to strike the same work-life balance so she hires qualified women who also work as virtual assistants. “I’m trying to create a job market for those who want more time with their families while earning an income.”

To that end, this coming spring she plans to expand her outreach, launching an eight-week online course on how to start a virtual assistant business or any business that follows a passion. “I want women to find ways to make money for their family and get the flexibility they seek.”

In addition, Given has plans in the pipeline that include philanthropy, coaching and community involvement,

Meanwhile, she’s living up to her own business motto: “Focus on your strengths, delegate the rest.””

— By Connie McDougall


  1. Very nice article. I’ve known Emily since she was a child, and to see her in this wonderful position as a young woman entrepreneur is incredible.
    Thank you, Mo Owens

    1. I also changed my life after losing a child. It gave me the courage to do what I really wanted instead of what was expected of me by society. The career took a backseat and being available to my family became #1. Never regretted it.

  2. As soon as I read “perfect job at amazon,” I stopped reading. I’m glad you’re ok though!

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