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Leap of faith

Der Sprung macht die Erfahrung nicht der Schritt.

Like you, my knees go all gooey every time I read that phrase.

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I confess that it was not until about a month ago, while browsing my treasured copy of "Great German Playwrights: Volume 311," that I came across this phrase. But, as it has for so many, it instantly became a beacon in charting a path to betterment.

Now, I did recently meet a fellow - cryogenically suspended since the 1960s (groovy baby, yeah!), who was unfamiliar with the work of Heiner Mller, the German playwright. So, Austin, if you're reading, it means, roughly: "A leap, not a step, is what makes the expression possible."

Yeah, baby!

For me, the next step is a leap, and it's a big one.

After almost 30 years as a journalist and 15 years covering business, I'm taking a leap to the real thing.

My wife, Andrea started a business two years ago that imports and sells antique Chinese furniture and artifacts. We had lived in Hong Kong and wanted to maintain our connection there as well as start a business. She runs the company, and I've been offered a full-time position.

The perks seem obvious - long hours, no steady paycheck, no paid vacation, no benefits, lots of heavy lifting, and the occasional smooch with the boss (Oh, behave!).

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Who could refuse?

There will be challenges of course - such as dual business cards that say "The Smart One" next to her name.

And several weeks ago, during lunch at a restaurant, I suggested that we "block out some time this weekend to formalize our business relationship and division of responsibilities."

She responded: "We don't need to. I'll just tell you what to do, and you'll do it."

I tell you, we had a long laugh about that one, and then she told me to bring the car around to the front door.

But entrepreneurship is a buzz. It demands constant creativity, and it forces you to define your vision, then believe in it 24/7. No red tape (not that this newsroom suffers from bureaucratic inertia), just a direct line between what you think and what you do and what happens as a result.

And my wife and I enjoy working together, and we are hooked on China.

The Monitor's been a great place to work, and I've been here, off and on, almost 15 years. So it's difficult not to imagine coming back.

But I leave you in good hands.

My successor at Work & Money, Clay Collins, has terrific new ideas for the section.

In the meantime, my wife and I accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.


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