Local Woman Becomes International Best-Selling Author

Sharing her first co-authored book - which is part of an international best-selling series - is Lanette Pottle of Robbinston during a book signing at the French Cellar in Machias on November 17th. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Thompson)

By Lura Jackson


While Maine is well-known for producing talented writers, not many international best-sellers hail from Washington County itself. Bucking that trend – and perhaps starting a new one – is Lanette Pottle, who recently co-authored Success University for Women in Leadership. The book is a compilation of chapters written by twenty women from six countries, each of whom shared their own take on what it means to be a leader.

As the only writer from Maine, Pottle expressed the sensation of being part of such a project. “It feels a little surreal. Working on this collaborative project, you know the overarching vision of the book, and you know what you’re working on, and the feedback you’re getting from the editor, but you don’t know what everybody else’s story is. The first time I read it, I was captivated,” Pottle shared.

For Pottle, writing her own segment required a lot of fine-tuning. “I think I did 27 versions of the first draft,” she said with a laugh. She opted to share her personal story in the book, which she describes as one of vulnerability. “I talk very openly about the challenges of my life, and how I wanted to be a leader, and pretended to be a leader, but I couldn’t lead myself. I had to come to terms with that and learn to make different choices, both personally and professionally.” As an unwed teenage mother on welfare in Washington County, Pottle was familiar with the sensation of dashed dreams from a young age. Later, she would successfully hold management positions for many years, but it wasn’t until she started her own business last year that she felt that she was doing what she was meant to do.

Starting one’s own business is never an easy task, and Pottle experienced that firsthand. “Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster,” she readily admitted. Since beginning, however, Pottle has successfully launched a popular time management course on Thrive Courses online, and she now runs regular leadership and related workshops locally and nationally. 

As a devoted Washington County native, Pottle remains committed to assisting local women of all ages. Along with Judy East, she administers the first Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute in Washington County, which started at Calais High School last year. The statewide program caters to young women throughout high school to provide mentorship, confidence, and guidance. Every signed copy of the book sold on Pottle’s website generates a $5 donation to the high school leadership institute. “That’s my piece of paying it forward,” Pottle explained.

Having come from rural Maine, Pottle remains awed when she considers being part of such an international compilation. “Someone is reading my story in Switzerland, or Barbados, or Western Canada. It’s not going to resonate with everyone, but there’s going to be someone that it does. It’s always those moments that I step back and think about that I’m from Washington County. It just supports the fact that many of the limits we experience are the ones we place on ourselves.”

While Pottle has clearly gained an understanding of what it means to be a leader, she knows she isn’t finished with the process. The name of her chapter is “Learn and Evolve”, which describes her approach to life. “Evolution is key… I don’t think it ever ends, because the world around us is constantly evolving.”

To find out more about Pottle’s offerings or to purchase a signed copy, visit www.lanettepottle.com.