Online broadcasting has a lot of advantages. It can reach a bigger audience. Tune in as we dive deep into how you can effectively engage with them through it. Our guest, Toni Lontis, is an international radio and TV host, bestselling co-author, author, and speaker with multiple live streaming TV/radio shows broadcasted worldwide. But before she went into the broadcasting space, she was a nurse. She had to go through struggles with her dysfunction, trauma from bullying, depression, and anxiety. In this episode, she shares deep insights on overcoming traumatic experiences, being an inspiration to other people, and the healing process. Now she focuses her content on one-on-one interviews and has taken the world by storm. Join us on her journey into online broadcasting!
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Is Online Broadcasting Your New Favorite Content? With Toni Lontis
I’m excited for our guest. I met her at Media Magic. She was one of the other mentors there. I love what she had to say. Before we get into introducing her, I want to remind you to go over and get your free subscription to Breakthrough Author Magazine. You can get that at www.BreakthroughAuthorMagazine.com.
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Our guest is Toni Lontis. She’s an online broadcaster. She’s an international radio and TV host, bestselling co-author, speaker, and visionary. She quietly has been into the entrepreneurial world in 2019 post-publication of her memoir, Resilience, after 35 years of nursing from clinical practice to running her own nurse consultancy company.
She wanted to write a book. She wanted to talk about what it takes to heal from dysfunction and trauma in her own life to create a heart-centered impact and help others heal. With the publication of the book came the audiobook production. She was introduced to the power of the spoken word. A chance conversation led to a meeting with an American media company and radio where Toni was born.
From these humble beginnings, she grew a love of interviewing businesses and people about life, business, and the universe. Her intuitive interview style has taken the world by storm. She now has multiple live streaming TV/radio shows and a series of co-hosted business shows on different platforms, based in the US and broadcasting to the world. Please welcome the broadcasting dynamo, Toni Lontis.
Welcome, Toni. Before we get started, I don’t think I mentioned in the introduction that she’s Australian. She is wearing makeup at 7:00 AM, and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate that. Welcome.If you’re feeling depressed, you have to recognize it quickly. Click To Tweet
Juliet, I’m getting used to getting up early, so I can talk to my wonderful American friends and connections. It’s not a problem.
That’s fantastic. You have an interesting story. I wouldn’t have ever guessed that you would be in broadcast media now because you started as a nurse.
I tell people that, and they look at me in disbelief. A part of that story is around discovering your life path or what you’re meant to do. When I left school, there weren’t a lot of options for girls. There were teaching, nursing, or a bank job. I applied to get into uni. I got into psychology. I was going to do that. However, nursing came up first, and that’s what I did. I embarked on a nursing career back in the days when nurses were still trained in big, general hospitals and had diverse training across many specialties, which was good.
In addition to what you do in the broadcast, you also do a lot around self-care too. I would assume that nursing comes in handy with that.
A part of my story, and to explain that in-depth, is that because I went nursing, back in the day, mental health was something that you frowned upon. It was not talked about and had a huge stigma. Bringing that into my own story, I recognize retrospectively that I probably started to have the tentacles of depression in my mid-teens. Around about fifteen, that started to kick in. Because I went to nursing, and there was a stigma, I never got help for that until I had a major breakdown in my 40s. I had to learn how to care for myself, what rejuvenated my soul, and love myself.
By the time I got to my 40s and had that first breakdown, I was pretty beat up by life and circumstance. For me, learning those things and learning how to love myself the way everyone should love themselves was an important part of my healing. That’s why I’m passionate about it, particularly for women. Because we are the multitasking creative generators of the universe, we birth children without subconscious thought and do that naturally. We have a lot going on in our heads. If we don’t look after ourselves, we rob the world of what we could create.
That is very true because you can’t create from exhaustion. There are no two ways about it. There’s no room for it. You went to this nursing career. Why this?
A little trigger warning, I always do that now because someone in my audience one day said, “You need to warn people before you tell your story.” As I said before, I had a background of depression and anxiety. To begin with, I was born with a congenital facial defect called a preauricular cyst. The problem with these little defects is that they’re nasty. They get infected all the time. Unfortunately, in my case, after a huge infection and three surgeries to fix it, they either damaged my seventh facial nerve or it was knit in one of the surgeries, which resulted in left-sided facial palsy.
In my younger years, on the left side of my face, I couldn’t smile properly. I couldn’t raise my left eyebrow. My eye wept and my mouth drooled at night. It was difficult to eat. All of those things in my younger life, there were bullying and a dysfunctional family. Into my twenties, I carried that low self-esteem and background of anxiety and made bad decisions. When you’re vulnerable, you have a target on you for people who seek to hurt vulnerable people. It’s one of my messages that I like to remind women. If you’re in a vulnerable state, be very careful of yourself and particularly, your children.
In my 30s, I still had bad relationships, domestic violence, divorce, and sexual assault, which brought me to my 40s. This is often the case with high-performing women with a background of trauma and mental health issues. We still perform incredibly professionally within our scope. By that stage, I was coordinating statewide networks for anesthetics perioperative operating theaters for the state government. There’s that high-level clinician role in implementing policy and process around elective surgery, anesthetics, service delivery, and health care, so I’m functioning quite high.
On the day that I unraveled, all it took was a simple conversation with a colleague. I can’t even remember what it was that she said to me, but I started crying and could not stop. That distressed me more than anything because I was a high-functioning professional, and I was blubbering my eyes out. However, it was the biggest blessing of my life because I took some time off. After three days of not being able to figure out what the heck was going on with me, I finally went to my doctor. I told him what had happened and what’s been going on.
He asked me about my life, sat me down, and said, “Toni, you have a major depressive disorder. You’re having a physical and mental breakdown. Here’s what we need to do. We need to stop you from working. You need to end the stress and high-level roles. You need to take some time off work, short-term or long-term. We need to try some medication immediately. You need to get some help, counseling, and therapy. If you don’t, you may not make it to 50,” because at that time, when I went to see him, I’d started to have elements of suicidal thoughts as well. This was a very dark, black place. Had he not said that to me, I probably wouldn’t have taken him seriously, and I wouldn’t have started my healing and self-discovery journey that brings me here now.Learn how to love, care, and rejuvenate yourself. Click To Tweet
In that environment, I was off work. My almost-adult daughter had started spending a bit more time at home when I was at home. Without going into too much detail, within a short space of time, she disclosed a history of sexual assault at the hands of the man that I was about to marry in a short amount of time. That is the space where I started to grow, heal, and learn.
Several years after that, I was back in nursing but in a role that was more manageable. I had my own consulting company and zapped across Australia, prepping day surgeries and small hospitals to meet the national safety standards. Those are gap analysis, risk and management, process policy, and education planning, which was very nice because I got to work with small hospitals one-on-one and make sure they were ready to meet these compulsory standards.
I did that and did quite well, but I kept thinking that there had to be more. As my healing journey progressed, I started to talk a little bit about my story. People said, “You need to write.” As part of my healing, I had done a lot of journaling and self-reflection. I had the content for a book. Eventually, I shut down the business. I sat down in July 2018 and wrote the book full-time until November 2018, and published it in 2019.
I thought it was going to be a bestseller, and I would wander off around the world being a speaker and talking about healing, etc. On a side note, the more I healed, the better my face got. After 40 years, the nerves in the left side of my face, particularly around the bottom of my face, developed a dimple. That happened in my 40s. My smile started to heal. I discovered what it’s like to be joyful and feel it in my face. For many people, smiling is unconscious. You don’t think about it. You just do it, but for me, I feel those muscles and nerves kick into life every time I smile. What a blessing.
Let me ask you this because I had a moment when I was going through a divorce, but not as dramatic as yours, in my mid-40s. I don’t know if you’ve heard the story on Media Magic, but I sat down, wrote a mystery novel, and killed my ex-husband in it. I was going through a tough time. I had gone from a very high functioning job as well too, and I had to decompress. How hard was that for you? I found it hard. I almost moved and functioned high to avoid that I needed to heal.
Those years of healing were tough. When people make that decision to start to work through their trauma and start to heal, it’s hard work. It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do, but conversely, it’s the most amazing process for you and the people around you. I’m so grateful for that terrible and horrible period of time because I learned so much about myself, and I continue to make that a priority. I’m continuing to heal and make sure that I’m living my best life.
I want to give all humanity, men and women, but particularly women, an example. I want them to know that it’s okay to sit in that dark place and do the work because you will come out the other side. There’s no doubt about it. You come out the other side, and you are forever changed. That is a blessing in your 40s, 50s, and 60s. It is the best time of a woman’s life. There is wisdom, confidence, and faith in yourself. You’ll only glean and gain those things if you do that work in the background. It’s tough.
It is tough work. I’m going to share a story. My daughter’s probably going to kill me, but she doesn’t read anyway unless somebody tells her. It is mercury retrograde. I’m telling her, “This is what mercury retrograde is all about. There’s this thing coming up for me, and this lesson learned.” I said, “What’s your lesson? You always get a lesson out of this.”
She says to me that I’m better than everybody I work with. I was like, “I don’t think that’s the lesson. You need to go back to your drawing board.” This is going to come up again. She hasn’t been through what we’ve been through and doesn’t understand that you have to look at what is that lesson I’m supposed to learn because I’m tired of learning it.
That’s the other thing. You have to take a break periodically because it’s like, “I don’t want to learn anything else.” If you take those breaks, then you come back refreshed, and it’s like, “What’s next? What do I need to learn now?” it’s good. It brings to the universe more wisdom and creates better energy. The globe needs better energy at the moment.
You have an online broadcast. What is that? How did you get into that?
After I’d published the book and thought it was going to be a bestseller, I thought I loved audiobooks. I thought I’d like to produce the audio version of the book. A friend of mine has an audiobook production company. She said to me, “I’ll help you out with that.” I was going to get an actress to do it. She kept saying to me, “No, you need to read it yourself.”The healing process involves journaling and self-reflection. Click To Tweet
I’m like, “No.” I’m introverted by nature. I was very shy post-trauma recovery and didn’t like people a lot. I wasn’t going to show up in a public way. She kept saying, “No, I want you to do it.” Eventually, I gave in and said, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to do this.” She said, “That’s okay. I know. I’ll help you. We’ll get through it.”
It was a very cathartic experience. There is something completely different from writing your story versus speaking it out into the universe. I was unprepared for that change. However, she was amazing and supportive. After a lot of tears and hugs, we got through it. At the end of that, I thought, “I need to market this audiobook now.” I started to use social media because when I published, I did it with a publisher who had an education package attached to the publication of the book, which is a great way to do your book because you learn lots about the business of publishing and having a book.
All the good publishers will offer something similar to that, not just your book and the publication of your book, which is a whole realm of things that need to happen. It also includes education because you don’t know who you’re going to become on the other side of publishing a book. I set about doing as I was told, building social media, connecting with people, etc.
I had a connection in the US with a media CEO. 2019 was my year of being bold and saying yes, no matter how terrified I was. I asked him a question about podcasting because, at the end of that audio recording, my friend Simone had sat me down and said, “Toni, there’s something beautiful about your energy, story, and voice. You should be in the media. Have you thought about podcasting and radio?” I said, “It’s not going to happen. No way.”
I’ve connected with this guy out of Florida. He said to me, “Why would you bother podcasting when you can live stream radio and have your own show?” I’m like, “I didn’t know that was an option. What does that look like?” There was an investment involved. I said yes because 2019 was my year of saying yes. I spent the first a few months being sick and terrified every time I stepped behind that microphone, but as I kept showing up, something started to happen. People started to comment and say, “I loved being on your show. You asked such amazing questions. How did you have that insight? Why did you know to ask me that question? I’ve never told anyone that before, but I’ve told you.”
Something started to sweep and flip in my head. I thought because it was an investment, I needed to work out how I was going to make an income from this because I’d gone from high-level roles in a good way to nothing. That was the inception of my first program, which was to post your own radio show. As I realized the technology that was around and the capability of being able to be in Australia and broadcast across the planet and reach more people, my entrepreneurial brain started to kick into gear slowly.
What has evolved is now I have audio-video TV shows that are broadcast globally through big broadcast streamers. Also, on nontraditional media platforms or OTP, Over the Top Platforms, where you can have streaming video on demand, pay-per-view, and all range of things. That’s how we got to what we do now. I have Toni TV as a channel available on Roku for LG and Samsung smart TVs across the planet. It’s available to download on iPhone on an app, etc.
Underneath my channel set is two of my own shows. One is about authors and artists. I co-host with a dear friend of mine and an international bestselling author in her own right. We do an hour with artists or authors, talking about anything from books and publishing to authors in their journey. The second show is the everyday business show, where I talk to businesses and entrepreneurs across the planet about what they do, what they are passionate about, and what their mission is.
The second part of that model is the co-hosted series of shows, where I work one-on-one with entrepreneurs and business owners to talk about their journey in business. We delve into how they got into the business and why they do it, and then we start talking about what they do. I had this fabulous series at the moment with an ex-Secret Service guy and talked about intelligence, surveillance, forensic investigation, interviewing, etc. It’s fascinating. I love it.
I used to write mystery novels, so I’m sure I would love it.
Knowing that you write mystery, it’s opened up a whole world to me that there are businesses that complement services like the police and FBI, etc. They work in the private sector and do a whole range of services that protect businesses from your IP to your assets, goods, and services. The co-hosted series is an all-in-one done-for-you media production. There are the shows which are converted to podcasts and redistributed globally. There are videos that are edited and put onto a whole heap of nontraditional TV platforms, including BINGE Networks USA, Zondra Networks USA, Herogo, and a whole range of others.
Underneath that sits strategy, social media, digital marketing, email broadcast, PR packages for the US, and a whole range of things, so that busy business owner has to show up for a session with me each week and a live show, and then we do the rest and everything in between. I love doing that because I get to know individual business owners on a deep level. It’s fascinating, and I love it.Get to know individual business owners on a really deep level. Click To Tweet
Part of my discovery is that I love talking to people and telling their stories. There’s no difference between telling a personal story to a business story. Often they’re interlinked and intertwined and give a reason for being in business. The third part of our company is the launch of the Every Day Women’s Network. Think about Netflix for women, but in a way that promotes women-supported content. Be that shows, podcasts, learning content, or inspirational content, whatever it is, we will be launching that.
My bigger vision for that is that we will have a small subscription to the network, which will link you not only to TV content available whenever you want to access it, but educational content because the pillars that underset the company, inspire, empower, educate, and help. Media is predominantly male-dominated, with many shows that are male-centric. I want to flip that switch.
I want to have a revenue-sharing model that gives women an additional stream to what they’re normally doing and provides a platform where women across the globe can go and know that they’re going to get amazing female-centric content. On the other side of that are the guys that I talk to. I work with a lot of men. They’re going, “We need the Every Day Network.” I’m like, “Let me get the Women’s Network, TV streaming up and going, which is way in process at the moment, and then I’ll do that.”
I want to go back to something. We are running a course now called I Love Content for the first time, where people are developing their content. I was talking with one of the students about, “I’m scared to try. I’m scared to go live.” I was telling them that a lot of times, once we get over that fear, it’s always, “What is that little step you can take?”
I want to stress what you said about you being scared half to death the first few months, and you showed up. When I did my show, the first 24 episodes were embarrassing when I listened, but I did it and got better. I want everybody to know that you’re not going to come out a pro. Your first ten, maybe even 25 like me, they’re going to be shaky until you get the routine down, but if you show up, you become comfortable. That is so important for everybody here to understand because as an author and an entrepreneur, you have to have content and do what’s comfortable, but many times you have to get comfortable.
Part of the reason that I’m here was that change in mindset that stopped me from playing small and allowed me to show up as my imperfect self. Part of my branding is I’m showing up as an imperfect middle-aged gal. If I could do it, you can do it. You got to get over yourself and realize it does not have to be perfect to reach and talk to the people that you need to connect with. It’s about connection. Take yourself out of the equation and do it.
When I was challenged to start doing Facebook lives, I have to say I’m much more comfortable in this space than doing Facebook lives. I would much rather talk one-on-one with my guests and clients to a global audience than do a Facebook live. It doesn’t make it easier, but showing up consistently, as Juliet did and as I’ve done, changes something. That tells your brain that this is no longer a scary place, and fear is a thought. Fear can’t harm you. It’s okay to be scared and fearful but then do it anyway. Part of one of my models is to feel the fear and do it anyway.
I have to say the Facebook lives evolved for me. At first, I would show up perfect. I would have my makeup done. By the time I got comfortable and people got to know me, I’d come in from running with a sweaty hat on my head like, “I was out running. I had this thought.” I almost got too comfortable. You’ll get that naturally. When it comes to developing content, what’s important here is that’s the trust basis of what you’re doing. That’s what’s going to attract those people. It is not only your knowledge but your personality. For me, I’m not wishy-washy. I’m direct. I take action. You either like me or you don’t. Once you get comfortable, that’s what you get want.
They don’t have to like you. It’s none of your business what other people think. You will have detractors. That’s a normal process of being in the public eye. There will be people who attack, criticize, write bad book reviews, etc. Go and take it with a grain of salt because it’s not about you. It’s about whatever you said or wrote that triggered them to respond in that way. It’s not about you. It’s about them. You just respond in love and light. Someday, hopefully, that will be the thing that makes them think, “Maybe I need to look at that again,” and go, “That’s not quite the way to interact with other humans, etc.” It’s very much about getting over yourself, which was a big learning thing for me.
It was for me too. I talked about this at the event. In the beginning, I had an avatar on my wall. I would talk to people and would look at it and say, “This person is not into coffee. Not my people.” It was that easy to let go and wait for my people to come.
I’ll say about women in our age group. There’s confidence and knowledge that comes with age, and it’s a fantastic thing. I am looking forward to being that wise woman. I recognize that for you and me, we can look forward to living into our 90s, maybe even our 100s. There’s a lot of life to be had, so why not get on with it and do it?
Toni, this has been great. Where can we find you if we want to reach out and find out more about how we can start our own broadcast?
I love talking to people one-on-one. That’s my thing. Go to ToniLontis.com. If you google Toni Lontis, all the socials will come up. There’s a YouTube channel, all the channels, and the podcasts. Everything will come up. Info@ToniLontis.com is my email address. I would love to talk to people. If you’ve got questions, email me, connect on social media, or send me a message however you’re comfortable connecting. I love getting those messages and emails.
That’s fantastic. Thank you so much.
- Media Magic
- Superbrand Publishing – YouTube
- Toni TV – Roku
About Toni Lontis
International Radio and TV host, bestselling co-author, author, speaker and visionary, Toni Lontis quietly entered the entrepreneurial world in 2019, post-publication of her memoir, Resilience.
After 35 years in nursing, from clinical practice, to running her own nurse consultancy company, Toni wanted to write a book. She wanted to talk about what it takes to heal from dysfunction and trauma in her own life to create a heart-centered impact and help heal others.
With the publication of the book, came the audiobook production and Toni was introduced to the power of the spoken word. A “chance” conversation led to a meeting with an American Media company and Radio Toni was born.
From these humble beginnings grew a love of interviewing businesses and people, about life, business, and the universe. Her intuitive interview style has taken the world by storm.
Toni now has multiple live streaming TV/radio shows and a series of co-hosted business shows, on different platforms, based in the US and broadcasting to the world.