The Brad Weisman Show

Journey Through the Heart of Podcasting with Toni Reece

January 18, 2024 Brad Weisman, Realtor
The Brad Weisman Show
Journey Through the Heart of Podcasting with Toni Reece
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When you first hear the question, "What the hell is a podcast?" you might chuckle, but for me, Brad Weisman, it marked the start of something incredible.  My good friend, Toni Reese, is the absolute reason that I do this podcast.  Toni tells HER STORY about the early days of Storytelling through Podcasts and the brave souls who bare their lives on the airwaves.

Toni says producing "The People Chronicles", at 80 shows a week, was about championing the voices of our community, from the influential CEOs to the resilient cancer survivors. This episode dives into the landscape of human experience, sharing the profound metamorphosis of guests who found the worth in their own stories through Toni's encouragement.

No story is quite as poignant as the one closest to home.  Toni peels back the curtain on her personal battle with Lipid Storage Disease, revealing the tenacity required for self-advocacy, when dealing with the medical field. 

Laughter intermingles with the serious as Tony and I swap stories of hidden talents and past performances before closing with a note of gratitude for the profound impact podcasting, and Tony, have had on my lifeEvery Thursday at 7 pm, we're here to bring you more than just conversations—we're here to foster connections that inspire, challenge, and unite us.
#thepeoplechronicles #thepeopleacademy #tonireece #getinspiredproject #lipidstoragedisease



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Welcome to The Brad Weisman Show (formerly known as Real Estate and YOU), where we dive into the world of real estate, real life, and everything in between with your host, Brad Weisman! 🎙️ Join us for candid conversations, laughter, and a fresh take on the real world. Get ready to explore the ups and downs of life with a side of humor. From property to personality, we've got it all covered. Tune in, laugh along, and let's get real! 🏡🌟 #TheBradWeismanShow #RealEstateRealLife #realestateandyou

Credits - The music for my podcast was written and performed by Jeff Miller.

Speaker 2:

From real estate to real life and everything in between the Brad Wiseman show and now your host. Brad Wiseman, wow, wow, wow. We have a great show lined up for you today. This is going to be really exciting for me because there's a person that actually got me into doing podcasts and I met this person oh my gosh, it's probably 10 years ago, whatever it is and she I remember her talking to me saying, hey, you know, you should, you should do this podcast and you know, this is what we're going to do. And I remember thinking to myself what the hell is a podcast? And she told me. And then she said what we do on a podcast? You know, you talk about stories and things like that. And I was like okay, and I winged it and went for it. And now I'm doing this once a week, thursdays at 7pm, which is pretty amazing. I have to introduce you to this person because she means a lot to me and if I wasn't, if I didn't meet her, I wouldn't be doing what I am here today, right now. Tony Reese, how are you doing?

Speaker 1:

I am great and I am happy, happy, happy to be here and very happy for you.

Speaker 2:

Oh, thank you, I appreciate that very much, so, so, yeah, so how long has it been? 10?

Speaker 1:

years. No, I think it's been longer. Is it longer than 10 years?

Speaker 2:

Well, you know what's funny? Yeah, because Catherine's 11. So I always use my children as as Wace and I think she was probably it was probably around the time she was born. It was and it was because the one of the first podcasts I did for how you Show Up, I read I listened to those recently just to see how I've grown as a, as a host and cause, it's always nice to look back and go okay, what did I sound like 10, 11, 12 years ago? And I did say on the one podcast that I'm a new dad and getting not getting enough sleep is is been a challenge. So it's been 11 years.

Speaker 1:

So 11 years? Yeah, that's amazing, and you don't look a day older.

Speaker 2:

And she lies, and she lies she's. She's never been good at lying either, cause she couldn't even look me in the face when she said it, she had to look away now too, yeah. Cause you're lying. Okay, yeah, she's like you're old, you're losing hair. I didn't say that. Well, I'll tell you what. I'm so glad that I did that first podcast Me too Because I didn't know I was getting what I was getting into and you made me feel real comfortable with doing it. And I have to say you know that you have the. You know how James Brown was, what the Godfather of soul, I think it was. I'm looking at you as being the queen of podcasts in Berks County. In Berks County, no, not even just Berks. I gotta tell you you started doing podcasts. We talked about it before we went live, 15 years ago. You is around when it was.

Speaker 1:

I think so yeah.

Speaker 2:

You'll go. Podcasts were not popular 15 years ago no no, no, they were not. I didn't know what they were.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly Neither.

Speaker 2:

You didn't, and you said that to me when we were talking before we went live, so you didn't when you heard the first thing about a podcast. How did that happen?

Speaker 1:

Well, we wanted to tell the stories of people in the community, so we had to find a way to do that, and podcasting was just breaking into the scene. My oldest son, jesse, was in the music, is still in the music business, and so he had all this like really fancy equipment that we knew how to use. Yeah, I remember that, and he set the studio up. Well, actually, craig pool went into the crown and he was a GM at the crown at that time. I said I want to do storytelling for nonprofits Because we had just met. He goes, we'll do it here. I said do it here at the crown Plaza storytelling for the for nonprofits. So we ended up in a hotel room inviting people to a hotel room.

Speaker 2:

That was weird. By the way. The first time I went there I was like, okay, what is going on? Here I'm going to a hotel going to a hotel room to do a podcast, you know that's right.

Speaker 1:

It was a great, it was part of the story. We actually did video casting in there, we did podcasting. It was just a way and we really evolved, because the most important thing was not the tool to get it out there, but to have people feel brave enough and worthy enough, because a lot of people did not feel that their story was worthy to tell.

Speaker 2:

You know, and that's what I think it has really changed. When I first heard you talk about podcasting and going into something and who's listening to this, you know, or who's the what's the audience? You know, and what you find out about podcasting, or what you realize, is that everybody's the audience and everybody tends to. It seems like people tend to attach to certain people that they like to listen to every week, and it's because a message can be told in so many different ways. There's nothing new under the sun, but sometimes the way you tell it, compared to the way I tell it, will be received different to different people. Sure, do you understand? Does that make sense? You know what I mean, absolutely. So that's what I think is very unique about the whole podcasting thing, and you did a great job because you were telling a ton of stories. How many stories or podcasts did you have going on at one time?

Speaker 1:

Well, we were shooting about 80 in the prime of it all. I think we were producing 80 shows a week. That's incredible, yeah. And at the end of the tenure we produced about 8,000 community stories. Wow.

Speaker 2:

That's incredible, and different.

Speaker 1:

So it started out with nonprofits, then it went to individuals and then we created our own content. We did some of my favorite where we did a whole series with the Highlands was one of our biggest buzzers.

Speaker 2:

I remember watching some of those. Those were amazing. Talk about what was it called People Chronicles or what yeah People Chronicles?

Speaker 1:

The platform was called the People Chronicles and it was just a digital website and that's where we hosted our audios first, and then we evolved a video and then you created two products so you could market your audios in the podcast world and then market your videos on YouTube and create those channels and then whoever wanted, if someone was going to use that service, then they would use it for their own marketing strategy. But some of the best stories we told was life lessons. It was life lessons from seniors, life lessons from immigrants, veterans, nonprofits. I remember one of the coolest things that ever happened and it happened a lot was that we would have a guest come in and they would be so nervous and I remember this woman looked at me and she said my story is not worth telling and I said, oh no, it is.

Speaker 2:

It's an amazing.

Speaker 1:

And so you kind of coax them along, and she had tears in her eyes when she left and she said I never realized the value of my story. You can't. That's it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Isn't that it? I mean that's it.

Speaker 2:

Well, it helps self-worth, everything I mean. And it is true that everybody does have a story they do. And that's kind of what I try to do on the show now, even though it's about real estate a lot of times, but now it's kind of evolving into other things besides real estate. I try to find those stories, I try to find those fun things that are in there, because especially when I look at real estate, anybody can say, ok, I'm a top producer, this, whatever, and that doesn't interest me anymore. What interests me is what's behind the top producer, what makes the top producer tick, what is it? And a lot of times there's a common thing that you see that people that are successful, that are doing really well in their lives, both business and personal, there's a common denominator a lot of times with those, and that's kind of neat to see too. So, yeah, I and I think I seriously I wrote down here way ahead of your time. No, I really think so. 15 years ago, I don't think. I mean, storytelling was just not out there. Was there a way that you told stories before podcasts?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. My background was in quality and then workforce development when I started my own business, which was close to 40 years ago, yeah, and so when I stepped out on my own, my job was to entice and influence people to be able to tell their story of work. So tell me what you do and how you do it. And that was important because a lot of people kept that information in their head, because that was their job security. So it was they were, that's what they were expert in, and so I had to coax that story from them and so to listen to them that way, to get that information from them, and then to hear their backstory and get to know them and it just, you know, for me it's, it's just a common denominator. Everybody has a story to tell, and I learned from so many people and I was, I think, brad the best thing about it in that part of my career was that I was so inspired all the time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's cool and you know it's great segue, because you did something called Get Inspired Project, I believe, and that was back in 2009,. I think is what it says on here. Talk to me about that, because that was pretty, pretty amazing. It was a cool project.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it really was. So I you know where that came from. No, did you ever see the movie Julia, julie and Julia? Yes, okay, so she was going to learn. That was the.

Speaker 2:

Julia the chef.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yes, Well, it was, it was I don't remember who was in it anymore, but she was going to cook or try to learn a recipe a day out of Julia Child's cooking.

Speaker 2:

Yes, absolutely I love the concept. Great movie too.

Speaker 1:

So that morning, after I watched the movie, I woke up and I thought, okay, you know what, I'm going to post an interview a day for 365 days, and so how do you get that many interviews right? So I came up with the same four questions and everybody got asked the same four questions and they were basically you know, what inspires you? How do you teach what inspires you? What do you need to learn those types of things? And so you would interview one person and because of the work that I had done, I had done some international work, so I knew people all over the world and I one person. I said can you give me five referrals? And so that's how we did it. I did it by phone. No fancy 2009,. There was no fancy equipment. The interviews were all done on. So, you recorded off the phone I think it was like free conference line.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, you can record them from there.

Speaker 1:

And I interviewed people, the CEO of Sprint to, who was the famous Rudy the football guy oh, is that the guy?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I'm not good with sports, so just don't ask me too much sports. Rudy, I think there was a Rudy guy. Yeah, there was a movie made after him. I knew him absolutely.

Speaker 1:

I interviewed him. I interviewed people that were mediums to people that had battled cancer, to just I mean it was, and I posted one a day. The last interview that I did was Jesse and Madison. Oh, very cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so Jesse was in the and those are your children, my two sons, my two sons.

Speaker 1:

Jesse was in England touring at that time and Matt, so he called in from England and Madison was at Bloomsburg at college. And I asked them the same four questions. And that was the last interview of the Get Inspired project.

Speaker 2:

And it said that what I read is that 3.9 million people were following the project online. It was crazy, that is crazy, yeah, but what a great experiment, in a way, you know to see to do that, and I thought that was cool. Now you did something kind of like that then also with the people chronicles. You were doing something kind of like that too, where you were bringing people on Ask Questions and stuff like that, right, which is part of the life lessons yeah, the life lessons exactly.

Speaker 1:

And then you know, yeah, it was the same design for veterans or immigrants, or you know, and you know, my ride and die partner was Gammin Yeves.

Speaker 2:

Of course.

Speaker 1:

And he was awesome. I can't tell you. We would listen to people's stories or I would ask them questions and we had a pact and it was like you cannot cry, yeah it's hard and I used to stick my thumbnail into the palm of my hand to not cry, because these people were amazing.

Speaker 2:

And I remember you telling me some of those and some of the stories were pretty amazing, oh they were. Yeah, I remember you bringing up some of them saying hey, you got to listen to this story. This is a moving story. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

It wasn't my story. No, it's not yours. I was just the facilitator.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you pulled out. You know that's the thing about. You know, sometimes stories need to be drawn out of people and I mean that's and that's what you're good at doing, obviously, and you did so, you did before. So you did business coaching, you did all that stuff, because you were in England for a little bit. I was, yeah, and you actually lived there and had a business there. Well, no, I didn't live there. I commuted, oh commuted, yep by car, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you Ubered.

Speaker 1:

Chitty-chitty bang bang.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, chitty-chitty, bang bang. Exactly, yes, great movie. So yeah, so you were, you were over there a lot though?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was. I was there twice a month, and what were you doing? There For six years the workforce development work that I did here in the States. I worked with a franchise here in the States that also had locations over in England. That's where it started, Okay. So we I met two individuals there who were just amazing and we formed the People Academy UK and we took all of our material, brought it together, put it live and we demonstrated it and sold it to practitioners all over the world, and it was amazing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Because it was quite something to be able to do that. That's amazing, and so that kind of was that's where you get some of the background of all this stuff. It kind of like it's been kind of growing and everything. So let's go into so. The People Chronicles then was in 2010. That's when you started that and I wanted to talk about that. We had, we had, a show that we did for a while we did and which I which was so fun, and it was called here's what's happening. Yep, here's what's happening, and that was with Robin Jones, who was on the show, and Gamini Evans, so I got to get him on the show.

Speaker 1:

Yet, too, at some point yeah.

Speaker 2:

I actually got to get to a point where we can all be here, but it's tough to fit us all in because it's not that, not that big of a studio here. So let's go into what you're doing now.

Speaker 1:

So COVID hit. Covid hit what was.

Speaker 2:

COVID, I don't know what you mean.

Speaker 1:

I was just the small little pandemic, this little pandemic thing.

Speaker 2:

COVID hit and then. So what happened then?

Speaker 1:

So I turned 60. Okay, back then. Okay, so don't do the math.

Speaker 2:

Don't do the math so way back then I turned 60. Yeah, and.

Speaker 1:

COVID hits and I had been in the business for 38 years or so, so I closed the business down because nobody wanted to do podcasting during COVID. I mean, everything stopped, yep. So then I have been friends with Craig Poole, who is the president of running hospitality management and the GM over at the DoubleTree. He and I have been friends for 15 years, yeah. And so and I've done business coaching with him. So he said come work at the hotel. And I was like no, I don't know. And he said, yeah, come work at the hotel. So I went there as a subcontractor. Three months later I was unemployed. That's only Craig that worked well.

Speaker 2:

As only Craig could do. You really held off there? Yeah, I did, man, I held my ground.

Speaker 1:

As only Craig could do so.

Speaker 2:

true, that's right. If you know Craig Poole, you understand yes.

Speaker 1:

But you know what, what a way for me in the twilight of my career to work for this awesome individual in Craig Poole and his legacy. And so what I do is organizational development work and people development. So it's help him maintain the culture that he's worked his entire lifetime to put in place. So to help that maintain and to be there as a coach for the employees so that the rest of them can work on the external guest and I can work on the internal people Amazing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a very cool job, and don't you think that what you're doing to work on the internal okay, that then obviously goes out to the external. Well, of course I mean it's like, and they always say like. You know, however your boss treats you is how you're gonna treat your customers. You know, cause that's just the way it is. So you can always tell.

Speaker 1:

If the owner's a jerk, then typically the people that work for him treat the people like a jerk Right and when you're doing people development, you have to understand people's stories, you have to be able to listen, you have to be able to understand where they are.

Speaker 2:

You have to meet them where they are.

Speaker 1:

And so again, storytelling just goes with me everywhere I go.

Speaker 2:

And then people tend to. When people know that you care about what they're doing, it makes it so much easier to work with them. You know it makes it so much easier. It's incredible. That's a great place, so you're liking it there. I am, yeah, so also, one of the other things is your habit. I know you have some health issues, yes, and I just wanna touch on that a little bit, because I was listening to a podcast you were on, you know, within the past year or a year ago, whatever it was, and something to hit me was you said about being your own advocate. And I say this all the time, and this is not to bust on the medical field or whatever, it's just something that I think it's good to know. You're having some health issues. What is it that you're going through? If you don't mind sharing and then talk about maybe a little bit about the path you've been on with it?

Speaker 1:

So this was two or three years ago now. I was hit with. I just was losing mobility and it wasn't getting any better. So there was weakness in legs and arms and I couldn't figure out what that was. So long story short, and during COVID, trying to get any diagnosis, during COVID. Or being diagnosed with anything during COVID was a nightmare, so I'm gonna back up a second. The reason I have no problem sharing this story is because a long time ago I had someone say to me you know, you ask people to be so brave to share their story. Would you please share yours and be that brave?

Speaker 2:

And I thought mm got you there, didn't I? I'll get mirror up to my face and, yes, I'll do it. What helps people?

Speaker 1:

Well, if it does, I mean that's wonderful. But so I had a couple of biopsies done and it showed this rare genetic disease. It's called lipid storage disease. It's a metabolic disease. There is no research on it whatsoever and through a series of doctors, I am now hooked up with this one neurologist and he's a young guy and he's like there is no cure, there is no treatment. You will lose mobility, you will end up in a wheelchair, it will impact other muscles because it's a muscular metabolic disease, and I but we don't know when. So I am like okay, well, I'm just not gonna go with that diagnosis. So my path now is to advocate for. Let's work on the things that are working. Let's work on muscles that need to be strengthened. Let's do baselines on the muscles that I know where everything is. I'm not going to just succumb to this right, I'm just not. So I've had to advocate with insurance companies, with doctors. I've had to research metabolic industries within hospitals. I had one test that was done, a genetic test, and they wanted to bill me $25,000 for the test. And I happened to be on. I was on for two hours with a rep from my insurance company and this woman stayed with me as we went down a rabbit hole on what it would cover and what it wouldn't. And here there was a little tiny caveat in the plan that no one would have known, no one would have told me. She said you need to go back to the provider who did the genetic test and you need to say ask this question, which I did, and the test cost me $25. No way yeah yeah, now had I not gotten with the rep had. I not stayed with it, right, I would have ended up with a ridiculous amount of money that I would have had to pay. So the story is and I will continue to tell the story is we need to advocate for ourselves Absolutely. We must protect the quality of our lives, we have to have a sense of humor, we have to enjoy our lives, we have to be inspired, and I'm just not gonna be any other way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, I mean it's just Do you know if any other person has it? I mean there's nothing. So this is that rare Yep Wow.

Speaker 1:

Yep, I haven't met anybody, if anybody-.

Speaker 2:

So you hit the lottery on that one. I did, you really did, yes.

Speaker 1:

I did. But you know, hey, if my journey is gonna uncover some sort of research or clinical trial or ways that I can overcome this and that'll help other people, why not? Exactly, I should tell the story.

Speaker 2:

And it is. I mean, I think it's always gonna tell the stories, because I think in anything. If somebody else is out there and would hear that they're like oh my God, that's something that I have Right. You know, so that's good.

Speaker 1:

We have a moral obligation to do so.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. Yeah why, not that's I agree with 100%, but is there anything else that you wanted to share, Jeez?

Speaker 1:

After that, is there anything? I have a question. No, he's got a question. He's got a question. Is there anything else? What is it? Do you have any hidden talents, Whether wiggling your ears or something that-.

Speaker 2:

Wiggling my ears no.

Speaker 1:

I can't do that Well. Well, she used to sing, I did, I used to sing.

Speaker 2:

She used to be a really good singer. For more you might still be a good singer. I've never heard her sing.

Speaker 1:

I haven't sung in a long time. But yep, I used to sing with bands and but I was one of those singers when I was so shy back then that I would sing the song and then I would run off the stage or I would do dinner theater. Oh God, did I do dinner theater? And I would be. I wouldn't be in character. I would sing my song and the director would say for the love of God, tony, please stay in character till you get off the stage. That's how good I was.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there you go, there you go.

Speaker 1:

So that was my not so hidden talent.

Speaker 2:

Hope there's anything else that you can think of, but no.

Speaker 1:

Not that I can talk about.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's good, that's good, that's good, we'll keep that Well it's a different show, different show, different time.

Speaker 1:

I thought it was this one.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not this one, but thanks so much for coming out. I appreciate it so much, absolutely, and I just I wish you good health. Thank you. I hope you keep going on that path. You seem to be doing well. You look great. Thank you, and I hope to see you in Kate May again sometime Soon. That would be fun. Yeah, and thanks for getting me into podcasting.

Speaker 1:

You know what? You're killing it. Oh, thank you, you are killing it. I appreciate that very much.

Speaker 2:

You're very welcome. Thanks so much. All right, there you go. That's the reason I'm doing podcasts because of Tony Reese. That's all her fault. So if you don't like the show, you talk to her and she'll you know she'll take care of everything. That's about it, all right. We'll see you every Thursday at 7pm. Facebook, instagram, wherever you want to find us, we're there, all right.

Speaker 1:

Cool.

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