Why I finally decided to leave outside sales

Adam Peek
3 min readAug 13, 2021

Today marks the end of 11 years where I have been selling for packaging companies. It’s been one of the greatest rides of my life and allowed me to do some incredible things!

A very incomplete list is…

  1. I have travelled to Hong Kong, China, and all over the US learning about and supporting my customers and prospects
  2. Sat in the end zone of Packers game in December and experienced the Lambeau leap
  3. Watch Hamilton on Broadway
  4. Experienced brands who started off as small companies with big ideas turn into bigger brands with world changing ideas
  5. Met so many people who I consider dear and close friends
  6. Gave a TEDx talk
  7. Got introduced to amazing sales trainers like Keenan and Rob Jeppsen
  8. Learned about corrugated boxes, stretch film, box tape, folding cartons, flexible packaging, pressure sensitive labels, shrink sleeves, store signage, RFID/NFC, rigid set up boxes, litho laminated corrugated, cut and stack labels, expanded content labels, and probably more that I have forgotten
  9. Worked with some incredible companies like Amazon, Young Living, Younique, Reckitt Benckiser, Costco, Walmart, 1908 Brands, Elevation Labs, Coca-Cola, JBS, Pressery, Bona, and likely a dozen more that I can’t remember right now!
  10. Finally, I have grown as a husband, father, and friend because of this job

So, the big question, why am I leaving this great job?

Because, honestly, sometimes the assistant coach just wants to see if they can be a head coach. Sometimes the question of “Can I really lead people and a team?” becomes so great that you need to answer it.

And that’s what I’m going to do. Answer the question. I want to earn the right to look back on these past 11 years and realize that being in outside sales was the best job I’ve ever had.

Over the next 3–5 weeks, I have a lot to do.

  • Finish up my eMBA through Quantic with a concentration in Supply Chain and Blockchain
  • Complete my Gap Selling Trainer certification
  • Finish writing a children’s book on Packaging
  • Wrap up recording a course for The Packaging School
  • Speak at Luxepack
  • Do a learn share webinar with Adept Packaging
  • Grow my YouTube Channel (Packaging is Awesome…you should subscribe!)
  • Continue to crank out episodes of the People of Packaging Podcast
  • Do some sustainable packaging and sales consulting work — you can schedule a consultation at www.adampeek.com
  • Figure out what I want to do when I grow up
  • Take a vacation with my wife
  • Be present with my kids
  • Read a few books (Cracking the Sales Management Code, Great at Work)

I don’t feel as though I’m leaving a company. I have a great boss at Fortis. Seriously, Derek is one of the best humans I know and I will continue to root for Fortis to do great things. John Wynne is a gifted leader of people and the best CEO I’ve worked for in the industry.

My journey away from being in outside sales isn’t about running away from it or a company. It’s about running towards something else. When sales is done correctly, so many people benefit. Especially in the packaging industry. Customers make more money. Packaging manufacturers make more money. Both can then employee more people. AND when selling is done the right way, the earth benefits because the right brands are aligned with the right companies producing far less waste. I think packaging companies who invest in their sales team with the right tools and training and coaching are winning and will win and I want to help them close that gap!

I have 3 daughters and I’ve had the song from Frozen stuck in my head all day today

I will wake up Monday morning without a single work email but a lot to accomplish. There will be rest to be had for sure, but not too much. There will not be any laziness.

And here I head, full force, into the unknown!





Adam Peek

I help food, beverage, direct sales, personal care, and CBD/Cannabis companies use labeling and flexible packaging to sustainably sell products