We all know what a traditional career entails: work for years, receive compensation in exchange for your time, retire, enjoy life. Sounds like a plan, right? Well, USANA Associates Derek and ‘Kinzie Lee are happy to show others that it isn’t the only plan. And their plan took off with Derek’s resignation letter.

Derek Lee

Derek Lee

Closing the Gap

Derek was like most people when it came to a career. He found a profession he enjoyed, and he excelled in it. With a background in business operations, Derek is an expert at finding inefficiencies with systems and workflows, and that led him through an eight-year Federal Government career to culminate in a position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Although it was a prestigious position, he wanted more out of life — specifically, more freedom to spend time with his young family. He knew he had an opportunity to do that with USANA.

“I have been building my USANA business part time since my son, Caleb, was born three years ago,” Derek explains. “My wife, ‘Kinzie, and I became better at using our money wisely and used the extra income to pay down debt and further other financial goals.”

But this past summer, the Lees realized they had fulfilled their goal and closed their financial gap, and, as a result, Derek self-retired from the CDC late last year. “It was an amazing feeling to deliver my resignation letter to my boss,” Derek says. “Although my boss was great and my position was what I thought a dream job should be, you just can’t have true time and financial freedom working for someone else as an employee.”

Derek Lee Resignation

Derek signs his CDC resignation letter.

Full-Time Dad. Full-Time USANA Leader.

Derek says while he appreciated the opportunity to work for the CDC, his USANA business gives him what he wants the most — time to spend with those he cares for.

Derek Lee Last Day

Derek stands outside his office on his final day at the CDC.

“Dropping our kids off at daycare each day really tore at our hearts. Because of the job hours and the commute, we only had about an hour to spend with our children before bedtime,” he says. “Being there for our kids as they grow up is the most important thing to us. Self-retiring at 41 allows me to be fully present as a dad.”

Between 7-year-old Elyse’s school and activities, and the playful nature and smile of 3-year-old Caleb, this dad now has the time to enjoy these moments while simultaneously building a solid USANA business.

USANA for Life

With their recent advancement to Bronze Director, Derek and ‘Kinzie are looking forward to continuing to share the USANA mission with others. It’s a company that has, admittedly, changed Derek’s life for the better, and he knows 2014 has the potential to be a banner year for him and his team.

The Lee family: Derek, left,

The Lee family: Derek, left, Elyse, Caleb, and ‘Kinzie. (Photo by Christy Martin)

“I am putting together a tight-knit team of individuals who are coachable and willing to learn what it takes to have ‘real’ freedom,” he says. “Now that I am home, I have the opportunity to step into a leadership role and mentor others who want the same level of freedom.”

“Derek and I often talked about the power of having more margins in our lives—in our health, our finances, and in our time. It is so exciting to see all of those dreams becoming a reality by Derek partnering full time with USANA.”

—’Kinzie Lee

Celebrating Your Story is a What’s Up, USANA? series spotlighting various members of the USANA family who are doing extraordinary things. If you know someone who should be featured, please email us at [email protected] with “Celebrating Your Story” in the subject line.

*$76,000 is the average yearly income for an established, full-time USANA Associate. $25,000 is the annual average of those who earned as little as one commission check each month. Total earnings include commissions, Leadership Bonus, Matching Bonus, contests, and incentive compensation. The number of full-time Associates who have maxed at least 1 Business Center during the year equals less than 1% of all Associates. Those Associates earning as little as one check a month and associated with USANA for more than six months equals 3% of all ordering Associates. If you include all 135,590 ordering Associates, which includes: Associates not actively building a business (acting as Preferred Pricing buyers), Associates who just joined (as little as one day), and those who are just beginning to build their customer base, the average yearly income is still $616.72 with nearly one in three earning a check. To date, USANA has had more than 200 global Associates become lifetime Million Dollar Club members.

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8 replies
  1. Alan Parkes
    Alan Parkes says:

    Thank you so much for your inspiring story Derek and ‘Kinsie!

    I have a new Associate who is a doctor (GP and Osteopath)about to retire and wants to get into preventative medicine, so I have forwarded your story to him. I know it will inspire him particularly as you were in the medical field with the CDC. He comes from Georgia, USA, too but is on loan at a local hospital here in New Zealand.

  2. Tim Haran
    Tim Haran says:

    This is such a great story. I always look forward to catching up with Derek & ‘Kinzie at our annual convention. Derek is a true leader who’s always willing to help others. I’m wishing nothing but the best for Derek and his family as they embark on their next big adventure!

  3. Jane Cain
    Jane Cain says:

    My sister worked at Usana for 10yrs. She unfortunately became ill and had to retire. After only 10yrs of being there, Usana is giving her a retirement check that is a blessing. Usana set her up for life. She can focus on getting better while getting a great retirement check for the rest of her days! Thank you Usana! In the end she will get more from retirement than if she worked all her life there! (Susan Galloway, S.L.C. Utah)


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