Tingting Peng had been in banking for a few months when she started to feel miserable. She had landed an investment-banking analyst job at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong straight out of college when she was 21 years old. The salary was great for someone her age -- US$50,000 base plus bonus -- but the job was all consuming. "After six months, I felt burned out," says Ms. Peng, who is now 26. Gradually her health began to suffer. One bout of flu morphed into another, with viruses and stomach bugs in between. "I was sick for weeks on end, but I would self-medicate and still go to work," says Ms. Peng. Unhappy and unwell, she spent thousands of dollars on clothes, bags and shoes she didn't need. "I was looking to superficial things to make me feel better," she says.
She left Morgan Stanley after two years, then bounced between finance jobs for another two years. When the last one -- as a research analyst with a hedge fund -- cratered, Ms. Peng took a break and went to see her family in Boston. Gradually the idea of starting her own fitness business began to crystallize. Exercise was the one thing that kept her going during her four-year finance stint.Read »