Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual

Book Review 

Book: Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual

By: Luvvie Ajayi Jones 

Reviewed by: Shelby Brown

The Premise: Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual – the title alone is enough to pick this book up! I became a huge fan of Luvvie after reading her first book “I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual”, her warmth and wit in her writing draw you right in. Professional Troublemaker is the same. In this book, she talks about what she calls the “everlasting hater” (fear) and how it uninvitedly comes into our lives – whether it be personal or professional, and has the power to take over. This was the perfect book to read as we close off another crazy year of Covid, and year that’s had more fear in and around it than years before (well, before 2020!).  

The Bottomline: Jones focuses on how to tackle what she calls the “enemy of progress”. What really resonated for me in this book was the focus on the fear of hearing “no.” Jones talks in depth about the fear of hearing no and shares her own personal story and journey on how the fear of hearing “no” had previously paused her from succeeding. As soon as she could become a “Professional Troublemaker” and kick that fear of hearing “no” in the face, she was able to exceed expectations and really excel. She shares that by becoming a “Professional Troublemaker”, you are not letting your fear talk you out of doing the things you want to, not letting it talk you out of taking yourself to new heights. 

Jones talks about her grandmother, Funmilayo Faloyin Luvvie, and how she emphasizes that it’s what we must be comfortable with and get right within ourselves first. This is the starting place. Before we can conquer the fear of “no,” we need to first get this right. She shares how her grandmother talks about “truth-telling” as a muscle, and that is the muscle we need to flex within ourselves. Her overarching message throughout the book is not to be a wild and completely fearless, but to recognize that it’s better to “live boldly” as she puts it and not think about all the reasons you may hear “no”. Life is better as a “Professional Troublemaker”. 

Recommendation: I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to renew, refocus and reprioritize. It’s a great read to either end of the year, or kick off 2022 with fire in your step!