👋🏽 hello, i'd like to meet you
an invitation to Twenty Minutes with Tobi
I haven’t had a closet for roughly seven months. As I skedaddled from city to city, my suitcases served as my wardrobe. Living out of a suitcase gets tiresome quickly. You start to miss some fashionable staples that didn’t make the draft. Or you yearn for novelty, a little dash of color to spruce up your fits. But if you’re like me—you packed too much, while intentionally trying to not to do so—so you can’t really shop unless you get rid of your current clothes. A trade that seems exceptionally complicated so you settle back into a peculiar kind of minimalism.
Aside from missing a closet, I haven’t had a consistent bed. My heavy head has found rest on every texture of pillow—from soft, cloud-like and inviting, to firm and resistant fabrics. My long legs have galloped across many timezones. And I’ve learned which cities abide by pedestrian zebra-crossing rules, and which ones demand an intimate, unyielding stare into the driver’s soul to avoid being run over.
It’s been a season of change, renewal, and growing pains. But running this newsletter has been a constant source of joy and creative expression. I’ve gotten to deepen my craft by committing to publishing weekly. And it’s been incredibly uplifting to feel the depth of love from your comments and replies to my published work.
I try not to look at my subscriber numbers often because it’s easy to get obsessive about numbers and miss the forest for the trees. It’s much more rewarding to resonate with a single reader, than to have a thousand fleeting ones in the bush. But every now and then, weak knees falter and I peek at the writer dashboard. The last time I checked, there were nearly 700 of you subscribers from 53 countries. So we’re basically a small village.
Maybe it’s my whimsical imagination but I envision a small settlement where every family specializes in one trade. If I need pots, pans, or any custom-made metal objects, I’d reach out to The Smiths. The Bakers would ensure we never run out of bread and baked goods. And when it’s time to corral ourselves in the finest fits, we all know to call The Drapers.
I’ve gotten to know a few residents from this village.consistently cheers me on through every release. convinced me to keep a folder with reader compliments. offered last minute design feedback on my recently launched magazine. Katie ofoften leaves long, thoughtful comments and re-stacks my essays. Jess of has featured me multiple times in her weekly roundups. is a sure bet for a hit of dopamine. I haven’t met any of them in real life but they’ve made their presence felt.
But I know this is only the tip of the iceberg.
I know there are so many interesting people in this audience. People who’ve lived many lives and are plotting new thrills. Former musicians that toured cross-country in a band. Someone who’s lived on a boat. Those who see nature as their pantry, the wild foragers who thrive in the woods. A secret poet whose words flow like magic. Those who’ve started interesting businesses, penned novels, or have escaped death in thrilling ways. Someone rebirthing themselves after spending too long on a lane that didn’t serve them.
I’d love to meet you.
The reader-writer relationship is so sacred especially in this content age. Each day we wake is a day we must run from the flood of content being hosed toward us. And yet you choose to dodge the deluge to read my words. I don’t take this for granted—your time is precious so I’m humbled you continue to read my stuff.
So for the next month, I’m opening up my calendar to you—I’m hosting Twenty Minutes with Tobi chats with anyone who wants to meet and chat. My dream is for this newsletter to have a thriving community behind it.
There’s no agenda. We can talk about literally anything. We could stay on theme with the newsletter and chat about travel, sabbaticals, or leaving tech to become a writer solopreneur. Or let’s go off-script. Tell me what you think about the finale of Succession. Let’s rant about the last meals we hated. Was Oppenheimer worth the buzz? The world is our oyster—though speaking of oysters, I find them a tad overrated. I’m here for your unique perspectives and hot takes. As a last-resort, I’m always able to talk about football (soccer, if you must) and my favorite foods.
It’s entirely low stakes and casual. We’re just jamming. And in the process, you get to put a face behind the words you read, and I get to know a little bit about you and why you read my work. The goal, if I must declare one, is audacious: it's simply to have “fun”." How scandalous, I know. Over time, I’d love to build a community of people who genuinely connect.
Here’s how you can book a free twenty minute chat with me.
PS- if you’re a fellow Substack writer with a newsletter, please reply in the comments so I can check your stuff out.
I want to highlight a pretty unique newsletter I recently came across. It’s a graphic novel that sends out weekly bits of wisdom in motivational essays to 10k+ readers. In the author’s words:
You have greatness within! YouTopian Journey is here to help you awaken it with life changing knowledge and unique artwork from our custom drawn comic book! YouTopian Journey provides weekly motivation and wisdom to help you become mentally stronger and realize your potential.
Peace and love🧡.