21-year-old male model Rahul Ravi doesn’t let the shifts of a pandemic get in his way. Building himself up entirely, he knows a thing or two about perseverance. While most get extra sleep in lieu of their daily commutes, Ravi uses that time to meditate, plan, and start his day even earlier than usual. An aspiring entrepreneur and signed model managed by Robert Wilson of FOMO Models, Ravi is used to getting creative with business challenges. For a business-driven dedication to physical fitness and networking, COVID-19 has disrupted the status quo, closing gyms, halting in-person meetings, and limiting work opportunities. This hasn’t stopped Ravi from growing himself as a model and businessman, continuing to grow his portfolio and catapult his career to higher echelons.
For Ravi, motivation comes from within. He always believed in his dream of working in the modeling industry and cultivating his own personal brand, but not everyone around him did. Branding his social media and catching early trains to New York were his first steps – steps he took on his own. When asked how he got through this challenging early stage, Ravi says “you cannot compare yourself to others, what others think. They don’t have to see your dream if you believe in it and yourself. Be stoic, be a go-getter, become, and do everything it takes.”
These comments come full circle during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ravi recognizes that “everyone has been impacted by this pandemic differently, but we all own our response. You can’t let outside circumstances consume and take over your life. We all have difficulty right now, but a victim mentality won’t get you anywhere.” Ravi easily could have lowered his goals and expectations during the shutdown. Instead, he found new ways forward by doing body workouts at home, focusing on improving his social media brand, and developing new business plans with other entrepreneurs. While many shoots were canceled, Ravi focused on developing the photography skills that got him into the business in the first place. With few networking events, Ravi promotes himself and others on Instagram, building connections, and business opportunities.
Ravi stresses that progress comes from personal growth rather than out-competing others, but he also recognizes the universality of these times. “You have to understand that everyone is going through many of the same things just like you,” says Ravi. Motivation to stay on track on goals is scarce for many, but Ravi finds solace in the fact that we all are feeling this way. Yet, he does not stay complacent. “The same way this all disrupts things, 2020 has presented me with new ways to innovate and adapt.” With business now adopting long-term models amidst a pandemic, Ravi spearheaded the same kind of shift in his own life very early on. Rather than waiting for things to dissipate, Ravi saw silver linings and opportunities, always asking “how can I do better?”
One example is how Ravi used his own experience getting into the industry to help others do the same in an even more challenging climate. By offering aid and advice to novice models on social media, working with them to improve their portfolios and networking strategies, Ravi worked harder than he ever has before, carrying forward his determination unto others. Ravi says
“Working with others who were like me just reminds me how far I’ve built myself and how I can continue doing so,” and reminds him of fond memories with his peers before the pandemic. It’s subtle things like this that really spotlight Ravi’s mentality: he sees the opportunity in every day, no matter the circumstances of the day. A highly driven person, Ravi relentlessly hustled to “not get left behind.” So when a pandemic hits, Ravi doesn’t ask “when will this shutdown end?” He asks himself “what kind of person will I be when it does?”