LinkedIn can take you places you never expected to go.
So sometimes, out of the blue, a total stranger emerges from the virtual vapor. It’s magical how easy it is to connect.
It would be focused on his mission work in South America, where he devoted himself to helping underprivileged and orphaned children in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Bogota, and Chile.
As I learned, in the midst of his work, the Canadian-born businessman had founded three successful companies, allowing him financial independence to concentrate on the work of his Foundation, providing kids with the kind of support he himself needed as a child.
As his story unfolded in our Skype conversations, Erik confided that he had a lonely nomadic existence as a boy. The product of a broken marriage, he and his brother were sometimes homeless, living in motels, shelters, and outside in parks with their mom. Other times, Erik was placed in foster care.
The strife and displacement of these early years cast a long shadow, motivating Kikuchi to envision a life of greater financial and emotional stability.
Having overcome poverty and homelessness in his youth through sheer self-reliance and resourcefulness, the 23-year-old entrepreneur set out to create companies of his own.
What an incredible story of resilience and redemption, perfect for a book.
But the book never happened! We lost touch. And then, five years later, once again out of the mist, Erik emerged with a phone call.
By this time, he had moved back to Canada and had become the President of Diva International Inc., a multi-national corporation that manufactures The DivaCup.
It’s a revolutionary feminine hygiene product designed to provide women with a better period care experience by using a reusable menstrual cup instead of disposables.
Did I want to collaborate with the dynamic CEO of DivaCup, Carinne Chambers-Saini, on a book about the history of the company. What an intriguing subject.
Fast Forward: Just a few months ago, after a year of work, Carinne and I finished her monumental book, titled AN INNER REVOLUTION, PERIOD!
It’s a fascinating story about how two women, mother (Francine) and daughter (Carinne), together became pioneers in the feminine hygiene industry, bringing a new form of menstrual care to women worldwide.
The story is a complex one, covering the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and capturing the duo’s persistence in the face of early rejection.
Together, they created a revolution in menstrual care, becoming Amazon’s #1 seller, their product known around the world, Carinne honored as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs Of The Year.
Nowadays, DivaCup is lit up in Times Square on a giant Jumbotron, and it’s sold worldwide, in 35,000 U.S. outlets and in 40 countries.
All in all, had it not been for my accidental meeting on LinkedIn, I never would have met Erik–much less would I have had the opportunity to write a book with Carinne. As Tony Robbins always says, PROXIMITY IS THE MESSENGER OF FATE.
Stay tuned: In 2020, AN INNER REVOLUTION, PERIOD will make its literary debut, along with a documentary film, titled PANDORA’S BOX, a project executive-produced by Carinne and envisioned and co-produced by Erik.
The dramatic film is intended to shed light on the plight of women–in African nations, India, and throughout the world–discriminated against merely because they menstruate. This is the subject of so-called menstrual equity–and every woman alive deserves it.
Erik, as President of Diva International and Carinne, as its CEO/Founder, are leading the way toward a life-changing mission for women everywhere. I’m just proud to be a part of it.
To follow Erik on Twitter: @ErikKikuchi