This is the Way: Olivia Schmitt of Total CSR

Sixteen years ago, Olivia Schmitt was working as a massage therapist when a friend mentioned an opening at an insurance agency. And, with that introduction, her journey in the insurance industry began. Within no time it seemed, Olivia was working as a commercial lines account manager at TRICOR Insurance.

After nine years in the same role at TRICOR, Olivia felt she needed to be challenged in a new way and was hungry for more. An opportunity at IBM to work in project management presented itself. She saw the potential to get out of her comfort zone and acquire new skills, so she took the job. However, something just didn’t feel right. She realized insurance was still very much what she knew and loved.

After a year at IBM, Olivia returned to TRICOR with new perspectives and skills. In her new role as leader of a small business development department, Olivia felt she could make a real impact on people’s lives and her agency’s bottom-line.

Olivia always loved the insurance industry because she believes in its direct connection to helping people. She says, “We are a critical part of helping people rebuild their lives when they suffer losses of all different kinds. We advise people to help protect their livelihoods, possessions, and legacies. We are part of the economic backbone of this country.”

Olivia is now the Director of Marketing and Communications at Total CSR, a company that helps agents train their new CSRs, agents, and producers faster. She has three fantastic kids who keep her very busy.

“The variety of experience and expertise people bring to this industry is what helps make it is what it is. When we work together and collaborate, some really magical things start happening to help move the industry forward.”

We are glad Olivia came back to the insurance industry and is helping us all move it forward.

This is the way Olivia Schmitt works.


1. Location:

Dubuque, IA


2. Current gig:

Director of Marketing & Communications at TOTAL CSR (based out of Southern California)


3. One word that describes how you like to work.

With music (I know that’s two 😊)


4. Current mobile device:

iPhone 11 Pro


5. Current computer:

MSI B360M MORTAR and a SurfacePro


6. Project(s) you’re currently working on:

Lots of content creation with blogs and e-books and the You Don’t Know Schmitt! Podcast!


7. Accomplishments you’re proud of:

Professionally – I’d have to say launching this podcast. It certainly didn’t happen without the help of many, but it has been one of the best parts of my 2020!


8. What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Continue building a better understanding of marketing and creating content that connects to the insurance community.


9. What are your biggest professional challenges?

Finding my writing rhythm.


10. What do you like most about your job?

It’s pretty amazing to be part of a company whose sole purpose is to help independent agents be successful.


11. What technology, apps, or tools can’t you live without?

Google! Grammarly, Snappa, Canva, Social Studio. These all play a role in the research and creation of the content at different levels.


12. Describe your workspace.

I am actually the only remote employee. So while I work from home, I get to experience California vicariously through my teammates in SoCal!


13. How do you manage your to-do list?

It’s really a matter of putting things in order of most important to least. 

I know there will be interruptions, but I know what big things I need to check off my list first so I can slay those big things early on in the day. I also set calendar reminders for those big daily items.


14. What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?

I have shut off all unnecessary notifications on all devices. They are such a major distraction – they had to go!


15. What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

I check my email. Get rid of junk and check reminders that may have popped up overnight or over the weekend.


16. What do you listen to while working?

Music, always music.  


17. What are you currently reading?

Full confession – I am a HUGE fan of audible. I usually listen to a book first and then buy it if I feel there’s enough valuable stuff that I’d like to be able to refer back to. (Learned this hack from Brent Kelly)

I just finished Burnout – The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle 


18. Coffee or tea?

Coffee - FTW


19. Night owl or morning person?

Morning. I love the quiet of the morning.


20. What are you watching on Netflix right now?

Schitt$ Creek


21. What does a typical day look like for you?

Up around 4 AM. I journal, sip coffee, reflect, and think through the day. I get a workout in and then get ready for work. Depending on the kid's schedules, I may need to throw a waffle or two in the toaster, but I’m at my desk by 8 AM, working through that to-do list!


22. Who are your business idols and why?

I’ve been blessed with so many great people in my insurance journey. Sydney Roe has been a huge person of impact in my life. Her positivity and storytelling abilities are off the charts!


23. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

At the end of the day, you have to be OK with you. No one else has to live with you as much as you!


24. If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?

Oh, gosh…Taylor Swift, but probably just for a day!


25. Who would you like to see in the future This is the Way post?

Brent Kelly – Sitkins Group

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