'I normally get up between 5.30am and 6am, then put in half an hour to 45 minutes of exercise, mostly Pilates, stretching and strengthening. Occasionally I do a ballet barre. I herniated two discs in my lower back, so Pilates has had to become a big part of my routine. The doctor thought I'd have to give up my dancing career, but I went on for another 13 years. I attribute that to doing Pilates religiously every morning, without fail, no matter how late I went to sleep. I have a very simple breakfast - a bowl of cereal or a couple of pieces of toast - and often eat on the run, in the car. I drive myself to work and get there before 8.30am. Sometimes I get up even earlier to take my youngest child to gymnastics. She has gymnastics three mornings each week and starts at about 6.30am. But that suits me fine; I get to work earlier and get more done before all the action of the stock market takes place. The stock market doesn't open until 10am, however, as a stockbroker you do the maximum amount of reading beforehand and make quite a few phone calls. I like to familiarise myself with the overseas markets and how they have done. My clients are mainly in Australia, but some are on the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and America. I invest in a lot of Australian shares, but Asian and American shares, too. I became a stockbroker because I knew that, financially, teaching dancing wasn't going to cut it for my family. My oldest daughter was born deaf so my wife, a wonderful ballerina, had to give up her career prematurely and I was the only breadwinner. I was also supporting my parents and, to a certain extent, my brothers back in China so there was huge pressure on me. As soon as I left my family when I was 11 to study ballet in Beijing, I took the decision to help them, and still do today. Nobody ever forced me to do that - I wanted to do it. The best part of being a stockbroker is that it allows me to get my family onto a sound financial footing. For me, money is never for myself, it's always for my family. Probably the worst part of the stock market is the massive greed I see all the time. We have a meeting from 8.30am to 9am every morning and listen to our research analyst briefing us. That gives us ideas - whether we should be calling clients to get in or out of certain stocks - and we have an hour to start speaking to them. At 10am it gets quite crazy. It quietens down from 12.30pm to 1.30pm as most people go out for lunch. Either I do a bit of exercise during that hour or I often meet clients. Then you are very busy till the market closes at 4pm. After that, there's all the record-keeping and follow-up work: clients want you to inform them if transactions they requested have been done during the day and you have to be prepared for the next day as well. I take quite a lot of reading home. I normally leave for home about 6pm, sometimes a bit earlier, to cook a meal for my family. I really enjoy cooking, mainly Chinese food. I think my family enjoys my cooking, and it relieves my wife a little bit from the daily chores. Then we have some family downtime. I have three children: a girl who's 17, a boy who's 14 and a girl who's eight. Something I enjoy tremendously is reading my eight-year-old a bedtime story. She still really loves that time together, and having a kiss from her dad and all that. These moments are priceless. My oldest daughter loves dancing, music, playing the piano - she's overcoming incredible obstacles in life. She's doing very well academically and wants some kind of business career. Right now, the world is her oyster. My son is crazy about sports, like all boys, and has shown very little interest in dance, but he's quite musical. The littlest one is passionate about gymnastics - she's quite unstoppable. And it's not for us; she wants to do it herself. I read for a while and go to bed between 10.30pm and 11pm. I try to have a very disciplined schedule, but if I have to give a talk at night, that will push it to midnight or 12.30am. I can live on very little sleep, but I love my normal sleep. That's my stockbroking life, but these days I am also a best-selling author and a sought-after motivational speaker. So I travel quite a bit on top of my day job, mainly in Australia, but also internationally. I try to limit the number of international trips because I don't want to be away from my family too much. I view my family time as sacred - with the travel, the quantity can be limited, but I try to keep the quality. I've started speaking more [Putonghua] at home with my children. My two eldest are studying Chinese at school. I'm determined for them to speak Chinese. I feel fortunate that I can now travel to China freely and see my family, who I love dearly, and the people in the country I care greatly about. At the same time I feel so privileged to have become a citizen of both America and Australia. I'm lucky I don't have to choose just one country. The only problem is when I watch the Olympics - then I really don't know where my loyalty is! After my defection, there were a lot of offers to film or write my story. I resisted until I finished my dancing career, and was encouraged by a writer friend, who said: 'Your story will give people hope and courage in life.' That really touched me because I felt it was the hope others had given me throughout my life that made an immeasurable difference. That made me change my mind. But I had a scary image of me as this Chinese boy who could only utter 'Oh dear me' - my first English phrase. But then I thought, 'Who could write my story without having experienced that life?' So I started writing. After the book [Mao's Last Dancer], I got waves of interest from film producers. I thought that sooner or later somebody would make it. So I carefully selected the producer [Jane Scott] and writer [Jan Sardi] who made Shine, which was a film with such integrity. They were passionate about my story, and didn't want to make a political statement or sensationalise my life. I spent a lot of time with the writer and now the screenplay has been written, and it's beautifully written, so I'm very happy. When I left home at 11, I knew nothing about ballet. But it was my way out of that poverty-stricken life and my family's hopes rested on my shoulders. So even though I didn't like it at first, I had to give it my best shot, and I started to enjoy it with the inspiration from one wonderful teacher. Through hard work I began to achieve little successes and that gave me confidence to achieve bigger success. So eventually to achieve success, to have higher goals, becomes a habit. If I'd had the same opportunities as kids today, and could have done other things, I might have backed off. That one chance forced me to go forward and see what was at the end, and it was very sweet. '