Ridley Scott may have been known for his cult hits back in the ’80s, but Legend is one film that never reached the heights of Blade Runner or Alien. Despite having its own share of “Director’s Cuts” and “Ultimate Editions” like Scott’s previous work, the film’s fan group was even smaller in number. Much of this came from the movie’s undeniable problems and the struggles – from its first draft to its fifteenth.

An ambitious new story taken from Celtic mythology, Legend involved a familiar fairy tale story with a young hero, played by Tom Cruise, going to save a princess from the Lord of Darkness, played by the legendary Tim Curry. While the production design and creativity were awe-inspiring, the characters and story felt underdeveloped. The intent may have been there, but it seemed to lack the depth necessary for it to last long after its time.

With that said, it’s a small miracle the film actually got made. Plagued by innumerable production problems and creative changes, the final product couldn’t help but illustrate that. However, it’s an undoubtedly interesting project to investigate.

So many production ideas and instances of studio interference took it away from the original vision. Yet, many of these concepts will never be seen by fans. A mix of test screening reactions and executive decision-making took the project in a different direction that many behind the camera weren’t prepared for. Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from our list.

Here are 20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of Legend.

20 Bad test screenings chopped the movie up

Test screenings can be the defining moment for big movies. It’ll determine whether a studio has a surefire hit on their hands or if there’s something to worry about. As revealed on Legend’s DVD special features, in the case of Legend’s initial preview screening, things really didn’t go as everyone hoped.

Viewers were divided on the film, to say the least.

This test screening ended up being Legend’s defining moment as the film went through dramatic changes following it. Most prominent among them were the cuts to the runtime, eventually reduced to 89 minutes.

Credited for this decision were a couple of audience members supposedly smelling of illegal substances that expressed their displeasure during the screening. While most may not have minded, Ridley Scott seemed to see their comments as constructive.

19 There are four different versions of the movie

As previously noted, Legend went through a massive series of edits that resulted in a sharp difference from the project’s original form. This led to multiple different versions being created that varied across multiple platforms. In total, there ended up being up to four different versions.

There is the original 94-minute European release, 89-minute theatrical release in America, a 94-minute release on network television, and an eventual Director’s Cut that ended up with a 113-minute runtime.

The American version was ultimately the most edited-down. Network TV incorporated an opening title crawl narration and some scenes from the European version.

Besides the Director’s Cut (which didn’t come out until 2002), the European cut got the most authentic version.

18 It went through 15 rewrites

Writing a ready-for-filming screenplay is no easy task. Add in a large budget and dueling creative preferences with the studio, and you’ve got an idea of screenwriter William Hjortsberg’s struggle.

Whether it was the lacking amount of source material provided to him or the constant retooling of the film’s plot and design, his adaptability was essential.

There were constant reworkings necessary for the script. Decisions made to fix tonal issues, mass marketability, and figuring out how to remove 60 minutes from the runtime without breaking the film were just a few of his tasks.

It was no walk in the park for the writer, but it’s clear that he remained hopeful and interested throughout.

Many elements may have been changed, but in his eyes, Legend’s foundation remained.

17 Dark deleted scene between Lord of the Darkness and the Princess

A film like Legend proved to be somewhat difficult to market, but it could’ve been much more of a challenge had they stuck with certain creative choices.

When writing the first screenplay draft, there was a scene in which the Lord of Darkness torments the Princess until she loves him. The scene wouldn’t have ended there either, as the two would’ve supposedly had violent relations immediately after.

Although Hjortsberg undoubtedly had reasoning behind this idea, the concept was one of the first things scrapped in the editing bay. He voiced his heavy amount of disappointment, but remained agreeable when some rewrites were requested.

16 It was originally way darker, and inappropriate for kids

If that entry discussing the initial film’s extended torment scene didn’t make it clear, Legend was planned as a very dark fairy tale. From its chosen screenwriter to the mythology that served as points of inspiration, this did not start as a standard fantasy.

However, 1985 was not the most forgiving time for ambitious creators who needed big budgets to bring their projects to life. You needed some sort of guarantee for the studio that your movie was marketable, and Scott had to make compromises.

He ended up making the compromises because he knew it’d be impossible to make the film without them (especially with the $30 million budget). This meant that grittier tone got toned down rather significantly.

15 A fourth goblin, Tic, was deleted from all versions

Some may feel that fantasy worlds can never have too many characters. Unfortunately, if a screenwriter can’t find a place to put someone, the character ends up either removed or forgotten. This is the treatment that the character of Tic received.

Initially the fourth goblin, Tic was present in the film’s script throughout much of production. Yet, when it came time to prep the film for theaters, Tic found himself cut from the movie.

The script had nothing for him to do, leading to this choice.

However, once the Director’s Cut was released, Tic got some time in the spotlight. He can be spotted in the alternate opening footage on the Legend DVD, chumming it up with his fellow goblins.

14 All of Gump’s lines were dubbed

When watching any of Gump’s scenes, there’s always something off — just enough of a delay between his lips moving and his dialogue to keep you distracted. Was he dubbed? Yes, yes he was.

Confirmed by screenwriter William Hjortsberg, poor young David Bennent had his lines completely dubbed over by Alice Payten, who played Blix.

Studio executives were worried that Bennent’s accent would’ve been too heavy for audiences to understand.

It’s also why Screwball calls Gump a “foreigner” before the group’s attacked by Meg Mucklebones.

13 They didnt want little people to play the goblins

While a staple of fantasy films, it’s no easy task casting appropriate actors for roles like goblins and dwarves. It’s hard enough finding suitable actors for any big movie, but once you narrow down the search to characters of certain shapes and sizes, difficulties increase.

This problem led VFX legend Richard Edlund to consider filming on 70mm film to get out of the requirement of casting little people for size-appropriate roles.

Shooting that way would allow for easier framing so editors could make cast members simply “look” like they’re dwarf-sized. Edlund’s previous work with other “miniature” characters (Star Wars’ Ewoks) likely served as motivation behind this ditched idea.

12 Blade Runner’s Unicorn connection

A great excerpt from the book Legend Making was Hjortsberg’s discussion on how the film was pitched to him by Ridley Scott.

Scott was still busy with Blade Runner, so he still had unicorns on the mind.

Scott told the writer that he wanted to tell a story involving unicorns, “the fastest steed on Earth,” in some way.

This led to Hjortsberg describing a story involving a princess in love with a commoner. The princess would sneak out of the castle so the two could meet up and interact with some unicorns, leading to the inciting incident. He described it almost exactly the same as the film version. Scott loved what he was hearing, which then led to Hjortsberg being sent home to write the script.

11 The writer’s only reference for the script was Faeries

When drawing up a somewhat original fantasy story, it’s important to have a strong foundation to draw from. And while Ridley Scott definitely had a vision, William Hjortsberg was largely on his own when drafting up a script. Before he was to begin writing, Scott pointed to a picture book called Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee.

This is where Hjortsberg developed the foundation of the script as he got a mentality on the world he was to help develop, along with some minor character ideas.

As Hjortsberg explained to Figment Fly, the paintings and art of the Celtic mythical creatures known as faeries influenced the world of Legend.

10 Ridley Scott “Disney-fied” the movie

Creative compromises with production studios are a necessary evil of filmmaking. After all, the studio wants to ensure that whatever project they’re supporting can make money, and the filmmaker sometimes must make tough choices to ensure success.

Since this was nowhere near a typical fantasy film, the studio had a simple idea: make it more like Disney.

Disney had been a powerhouse for years upon years, so it was difficult not to agree with the choice to draw closer to their framework. As revealed to Cinefantastique, this led to a lighter tone, more simplified story, and story reworkings that made everything feel much more familiar. Creatively, it hurt the film in the long run.

Yet, when you think about Scott’s position, was there anything else he could’ve done?

9 The electronic youth score

The story of Jerry Goldsmith’s time working on Legend is so dense that it requires two entries, starting with what led to his replacement. Goldsmith was the original composer for the film, providing a suitably fantastical and romance-inspired score. For those who listen to it, it’s another strong product from the prolific composer.

According to Universal executive Sidney Sheinberg in Jack Mathew’s book The Battle of Brazil, initial reactions from the preview audience were negative, with some singling out Goldsmith’s score.

Many changes were made to the overall product because of this, like bringing in electronic band Tangerine Dream to help the movie be more youth-friendly. Goldsmith was then left in the dust, along with his original score.

8 There are two different soundtracks for the movie

Thankfully, even though Goldsmith did get unceremoniously replaced, that doesn’t mean all of his work was for nothing.

Sure, American audiences had Tangerine Dream’s synth-heavy underscore for the theatrical cut of Legend, but European audiences got to experience Goldsmith’s score with theater speakers.

Yes, the European cut of the movie came with the original score attached, allowing the movie to play out similarly to its original test version. It’s not quite the same, but at least something closer to what Ridley Scott originally envisioned. It’s up to audiences to determine which score is better suited, but at least Goldsmith’s hard work was still able to be appreciated.

7 Ridley Scott approved of all the major changes from the studio

Moviegoers today are often extremely worried whenever they feel a director’s vision has been diluted by executives. Viewers want to ensure that they’re getting the definitive edition of whatever film they’re watching.

Legend seems like a great example of this, as the film was influenced heavily by its studio.

None of the film’s major additions/removals were implemented without director Ridley Scott’s approval.

Each new idea went through Scott and he approved them.

As Scott has made clear in the past, he sees his relationship with production studios as a partnership rather than an obligation. In addition, his confidence in the product was shaken following the poor test screenings, so he was game to change, so long as they could potentially lead to success.

6 Style over substance

Considering the somewhat “light” source material given to Hjortsberg, it makes sense that there wasn’t really much for him to work with. He had to create a lot from very little as he looked at a picture book for potential lore. Without the substance to back up the material’s visuals, it stands to reason that you work with what you’ve got.

This approach spilled into bits of the film, as certain elements feel chosen based on aesthetic rather than depth. Visuals can be as stunning as you’d like, but there’s only so much to them when there’s nothing below the surface.

5 Storyboards for the film totaled 411 pages

Any fantasy project surely has an endless amount of concept art and storyboards used throughout the creative process. Thoroughly-designed worlds and inhabitants that help the world itself feel authentic.

Legend may have suffered from shallow source material, but its creative team did not lack ideas.

According to production designer Assheton Gorton, the number of storyboards maxed out at 411.

It’s an unsurprising number, given how much of this movie felt dedicated to ensuring there were no moments of “fakeness” on screen, but still notable. It shows that for those who feel the movie lacked depth, it doesn’t mean it lacked effort.

4 One writer did all the rewrites

Inconsistent vision across numerous creatives can be a rather frustrating thing to experience. Whenever it feels like a different person wrote a specific section following the last, it can really hurt a film’s immersion.

Even though Legend suffered from many production problems, they always had their trusty screenwriter around.

William Hjortsberg maintained his position as head of writing duties throughout production. This includes every rewrite, addition, and restructuring. It also includes the opening title scroll, which was a creative choice he voiced his displeasure for.

The only time Hjortsberg had his job done for him was when Ridley Scott and then-President of Universal Studios, Sidney Sheinberg, made final preparations for the movie to be theater-ready (according to The Ridley Scott Encyclopedia).

3 20th Century Fox’s one specific fix to Legend’s first draft

Regarding the deleted torment scene — it’s difficult to think of it ever being approved in any fantasy project decades before Game of Thrones. If you think execs had strong reactions to it, you’re absolutely right.

When pitching the film, Fox executive Marcia Nassiter specifically voiced one fix: “You can’t have the villain [get with] the princess.”

Discussed in William Hjortsberg’s book Legend Making, that component of the film was always a hard sell. Following this response, the film went through years of continuous rewrites with Hjortsberg and Scott working together extensively to get the project right.

2 The Psycho II Cue

Jerry Goldsmith’s time working on Legend was a bundle of misfortune. He gets replaced late in the creative process, almost gets the only copy of his score misplaced/ruined because of studio negligence, and ruins his working relationship with Ridley Scott.

Then there’s the fact that American audiences never got to experience his score in theaters. Yet, that statement isn’t entirely true. American audiences did get to experience Goldsmith’s work in Legend, it just was for a different movie.

Temp music from Psycho II is used in Legend. 

For American audiences, it’s the only time they get to hear Goldsmith’s work during the theatrical cut. It’s sad, but at least his work could finally be appreciated once the Director’s Cut was released.

1 Ridley Scott still maintains his pride in the film

You’d think that following all the divisive reactions and the chaotic production process, Ridley Scott would feel some bitterness or negativity towards Legend.

It represented another box office flop for him during a not-so-successful time in his career and likely caused much more than a couple headaches. However, if his commentary on the Director’s Cut is anything to go by, he’s still proud of it.

Listening to him speak fondly of the film and its specific components confirms the admiration he has for this project. It’s likely not his proudest achievement, by a long shot, but it certainly wasn’t a project he regretted taking on.

Do you have any trivia to share about Legend? Let us know in the comments!

Read more: screenrant.com

TJ MaxxBusiness Insider/Mary Hanbury

TJ Maxx‘s parent company, TJX Companies, reported stronger-than-expected sales numbers in its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday. 
The off-price retailer is proving that customers are still obsessed with the bargain-hunt shopping experience, and that the model isn’t only popular in tougher economic times. 
Customers are hooked on discounts, and it’s bad news for brands wanting to sell their products at full price.

TJ Maxx’s parent company, TJX Companies, blew past Wall Street’s expectations for its second-quarter earnings, reporting a 6% increase in same-store sales and its sixteenth consecutive quarter of growth, sending its share price up to a record high on Tuesday. Same-store sales at Marmaxx — TJ Maxx and Marshall’s — were up 7% in the quarter.

TJ Maxx, and the off-price sector in general, have become known as one of the few bright spots in retail over the past few years while other stores have faltered. Though struggling department stores have seen somewhat of a comeback in recent quarters, TJ Maxx’s consistent growth throughout proves that bargain-hungry shoppers are still biting, regardless of whether the economy has healed or not. See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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TJ Maxx has a different name in Europe and Australia, and there’s a simple reason whyPepsi is making a $3.2 billion bet on an unconventional sparkling-water brand as Americans ditch sodaWe compared shopping at TJ Maxx and the new kind of store Macy’s launched to compete, and the winner was clear

SEE ALSO: We compared shopping at TJ Maxx and the new kind of store Macy’s launched to compete, and the winner was clear

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Another week has come and gone and you’ve gotten through it. You don’t know how, but you made it and that’s all that matters. Now it’s time to kick back and relax.

SEE ALSO: 7 of the best laptops for students heading back to school

Of course, if you need a new laptop, then the stress doesn’t stay at work. Whether you have to finish that TPS report or want to keep that winning streak alive in Fortnite, an out-of-commission laptop makes for a headache. Well fear not, because we’re here to make life just a little bit easier.

Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy have a great selection of laptops, with lots that are on sale. From affordable notebooks to gaming rigs, there is something that can fit every situation.  Read more…

More about Microsoft, Walmart, Laptops, Best Buy, and Dell

Read more: mashable.com

Yesterday, I mentioned that because I grew up poor, I inherited a faulty money blueprint from my parents. They didn’t know how to handle money effectively, so they couldn’t teach me how to handle it effectively. I entered adulthood with many of the same bad habits they’d had when I was a kid.

I was a compulsive spender, for instance. I had a shopping addiction. I had no willpower, no impulse control. Even when I had no money in the bank, I still found ways to spend. I took on over $20,000 in credit card debt before I turned 25!

How to Fight a Shopping Addiction

Nowadays, I mostly have my spending under control. I’m no longer in debt, and I force myself to make conscious decisions about what I purchase. (Conscious spending is one of the keys to overcoming emotional spending.)

Having said that, I know that if I relax for even a moment, I’ll be right back in my old habits. I’ll find myself at the grocery store buying magazines to soothe a bruised ego, or shopping for music in the iTunes store because I had a stressful day.

How do I know I’ll relapse if I’m not careful? Because I do from time to time. When I was prepping for my big talk at the end of June, for example, I felt super stressed and my shopping addiction kicked in. I spent an afternoon browsing on Amazon, putting things in my shopping basket. (I even ordered a few of the things, although I knew I shouldn’t.)

Emotional spending is comforting — not just for me, but for a lot of other people too. Though I’m a recovering spendaholic, I’m still a spendaholic. I’m always one step away from compulsive spending.

My story is not unique.

What Is a Shopping Addiction?

People who have a shopping addiction suffer from what’s known as “compulsive spending”. According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery:

“Compulsive shopping and spending is described as a pattern of chronic, repetitive purchasing that becomes difficult to stop and ultimately results in harmful consequences. It is defined as an impulse control disorder and has features similar to other addictive disorders without involving the use of an intoxicating drug.”

The organization offers the following list of warning signs of a shopping addiction:

Shopping of spending money as a result of being disappointed, angry or scared.
Shopping/spending habits causing emotional distress or chaos in one’s life.
Having arguments with others regarding shopping or spending habits.
Feeling lost without credit cards.
Buying items on credit that would not be bought with cash.
Spending money causes a rush of euphoria and anxiety at the same time.
Spending or shopping feels like a reckless or forbidden act.
Feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or confused after shopping or spending money. Many purchases are never used.
Lying to others about what was bought or how much money was spent.
Thinking excessively about money.
Spending a lot of time juggling accounts and bills to accommodate spending.

I’ve experienced all of these. In fact, I used to suffer from many of these at the same time. It felt awful. An addiction to spending is a scary, dangerous thing. As with other addictions, victims feel lost and out of control.

People who have never suffered from a shopping addiction can’t understand the problem, and you may have a hard time explaining it to them. They don’t know what it’s like to see something and feel the urge to buy it now. They don’t know the lure of the shopping “rush” — and the subsequent nausea from the guilt have having spent too much.

“Overspenders…have confused and confusing relationships with money,” write psychologists Brad and Ted Klontz in Mind Over Money. “On one hand, they’re convinced that money and the things it can buy will make them happy; yet they’re often broke because they can’t control their spending.”

Fortunately, I’ve learned some ways to cope with emotional spending. Though I’m still tempted, I don’t spend nearly as much as I used to because I’ve developed habits that help me do the right thing, even when the right thing is difficult.

How to Fight a Shopping Addiction

Based on my own experience — and based on conversations I’ve had with others — here are seven strategies you can use to fight a shopping addiction:

Cut up your credit cards. If you have a problem with compulsive spending, destroy your credit cards now. Don’t make excuses. Don’t jot the account numbers someplace “just in case”. Don’t rationalize that you need them to help your credit score. If credit cards fuel your emotional spending, you’re better off without them. (You can always get new cards once you’ve learned better habits.)
Carry cash only. Don’t use your checkbook or a debit card. Inconvenient? Absolutely, but that’s the point. If you’re a compulsive spender, your goal is to break the habit. To do this, you’ve got to make sacrifices. Spending cash is a way to remind yourself that you’re spending real money. Plastic (and to some degree checks) make this connection fuzzy.
Track every penny you spend. You may not even be aware of how much you’re spending. Back when I let my emotions rule my financial life, I had no idea how many books I was buying, for example. But once I started tracking every dollar that came into and went out of my life, patterns became clear. When you see your spending patterns, you can act on them.
Play mind games. For some people, money isn’t an emotional issue. They’re able to make logical choices and not be tempted to otherwise. They’re lucky. For most of us, however, it doesn’t work that way. If you’re in this majority, find ways to play tricks on yourself. You might train yourself to use the 30-day rule, for instance: When you see something you want, don’t buy it right away; instead, note it on your calendar for 30 days in the future. If you still want it in a month, consider buying it. I’ve found that I can keep myself from buying a lot of stuff by simply putting it on my Amazon wish list. I come back later and wonder why I was ever tempted!
Avoid temptation. The best way to keep from spending is to avoid situations that tempt you to spend in the first place. If your weakness is books, stay out of bookstores and avoid Amazon. If you tend to overspend at big department stores, stay away from the mall. Stop going to the places where you normally spend, especially if you’re under emotional stress.
Remind yourself of larger goals. I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. Whenever I’m tempted to eat something bad, I ask myself, “Will this help me or hurt me?” The same question can be asked when you’re about to make an impulse purchase. Will your new toy bring you closer to your goals or move you further away? (If you’re not clear on your larger goals, try drafting a personal mission statement.)
Ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help if you’re having trouble with your spending. Talk to a close friend or family member, and ask for support in breaking the cycle of compulsive spending. You may even want to seek professional help. But remember: If you ask for help, don’t get angry when your counselors call you on your missteps. Listen to what they have to say.

Each of these techniques can help curb your shopping addiction to some degree. Different techniques will appeal to different people.

There’s one other strategy that I’ve found to be very effective for myself: When I find myself tempted to buy something, I force myself to stop for a moment and ask myself some serious questions.

Shopping for clothes

What to Do When You’re Tempted to Buy

Let’s say you’re in the mall or at the Electronics Emporium. There’s nothing you need to buy, but you’re killing time while your spouse finishes an errand. As you wait, you browse. You admire the Thneeds. Look! There’s a new one! It’s bright and shiny and you think it will make you happy, so you pick it up, walk to the register to purchase it.

Wait! Before you buy, think about the following questions:

When will I use this? When you buy compulsively, when you spend on impulse, you tend to acquire a lot of stuff you never use. Look around your home. Do you have unopened CDs or DVDs? Unread books? Unplayed videogames? Do you have clothes that still sport their price tags? Do you have a collection of “money-saving” gadgets gathering dust in your closets and kitchen drawers? Before you buy something new, ask yourself when you’ll actually use it — and be honest with yourself.
Do I have another one like this already? If so, what’s wrong with the old one? I use this question in a variety of situations, especially when I’m tempted to buy clothes. Kim gets frustrated with my tendency to acquire new t-shirts, for example. “You already have five blue t-shirts,” she told me recently. “Why do you need another?” This is also a great question to ask when faced with the urge to upgrade. Do you really need to replace your iPhone?
If I buy this, where will I put it? It’s surprising how often this question prevents me from buying something new. For the past few years, I’ve had limited space to store stuff. First, Kim and I were on the road in an RV with no storage. Next, we moved to a smaller house. If I force myself to think about where I’ll store whatever it is that tempts me, that’s often enough to make me decide not to buy it.
If I buy this, can I pay cash? Would I pay cash for this? When I was in debt, I bought almost everything on credit. I figured I could pay for it later. All of my cash went to pay my credit card bills. I was dumb. I’ve since realized that if something isn’t worth saving for, if it’s not worth buying with cash, then it’s almost certainly not worth buying on credit.
Can I buy a good-quality used version for less? I used to be a “new snob”. I believed that things were only worth buying if I could have them in new, pristine condition. Now I know that great deals can be had on gently used items. This is true of cars, of course, but it’s also true of games, electronics, clothing, and more. Make a habit of checking Craigslist first — and taking a look at your local thrift store.
Do I know anyone who already owns one I can borrow? I overheard a story the other day. Evan was preparing for some yardwork and making an inventory of his tools. He decided he wanted a chainsaw. He called his friend Lee to ask for advice on which one to buy. “Why do you want to buy a chainsaw?” Lee asked. “Do you have a lot of trees to clear?” Evan admitted that he did not. “Then why don’t you just borrow mine?” Lee asked. When done respectfully, borrowing is a great alternative to buying new.
Can I wait to buy this? One of the best things I’ve done to fight my shopping addiction is to teach myself to wait. For the past decade, I’ve used the afore-mentioned 30-day rule. When I find myself in the Electronics Emporium holding the latest game for the Nintendo Switch, I put it back and tell myself that I can buy it in 30 days if I still want it. The key is to make yourself wait to make a purchase, to not give in to your desire to buy in the moment.
Why do I want to buy this? And why do I want to buy it today? It’s true that many times I’m inclined to buy something because it would fill a need in my life. But just as often I find myself wanting to buy things because I’ve recently seen an ad. Or, worse, a friend has shown me some cool new gadget. In these cases, I’m not filling an ongoing need; I’m simply trying to fill a sense of lack created by comparing myself with others. If I can figure out why I have the urge to buy something, I can sometimes make the urge go away.
Are there better options available? This is a great question to trick myself into taking more time. If I find myself browsing Amazon tempted to buy a compound miter saw, for example, I can sometimes talk myself out of it by realizing that I have no idea whether this compound miter saw is the best model. Instead, I go research compound miter saws (or whatever) via Consumer Reports and online review sites. I try to find the best option. Most of the time, the process gets overwhelming: There are so many compound miter saws with so many different features! I lose interest and I save myself some money.
What would my partner say if I bought this? Kim isn’t opposed to everything I buy, but she’s often able to detect compulsive spending when I cannot. Sometimes if I’m tempted buy a new toy, I try to put myself in her shoes, to view the purchase through her eyes. If, from her perspective, the purchase seems reasonable, then I consider it. But it looks foolish, I often change my mind.

I’ve used all of these questions to learn to control my shopping addiction. I don’t ask myself all of these questions every time I shop. Each is useful in certain situations. And these questions don’t stop all of my purchases. But I’ve found that if I give myself honest answers, they can prevent a lot of spending.

Additional Resources

For more information on coping with compulsive spending and shopping addiction, explore the following web sites:

Debtors Anonymous offers free support for people who wish to stop incurring debt.
Indiana University: How can I manage compulsive shopping and spending addiction?
MSNBC: How to escape a shopping addiction
The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Proctor Hospital
wikiHow: How to buy nothing

Finally, consider seeking professional help. There is no shame in obtaining psychotherapy for problems that seem bigger than you. Ultimately you must look inward to overcome any form of addiction — a therapist is like a trained guide who can help you find the way.

The good news is you can overcome this. You can break free from emotional spending. The bad news is that it takes work. It won’t happen overnight. You’ll make mistakes, and you’ll backslide. When you do, don’t give up. Don’t beat yourself up because you bought a new purse or played a round of golf at the new course. You’re human. Keep focused on your long-term goal, and resolve to do better next time.

The post Are you a shopaholic? How to fight a shopping addiction appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

Read more: getrichslowly.org

French venture capital firm ISAI just raised a new $175 million fund (€150 million) called ISAI Expansion II. This fund is designed for later stage investments.

The firm says that it managed to raise this fund in less than three months. This is a growth fund and the team plans to invest between $6 million and $35 million per deal (between €5 million and €30 million).

ISAI first started with a seed fund back in 2010. The company raised a $41 million fund (€35 million) and invested in BlaBlaCar shortly after that. The firm has raised a growth fund and another seed fund since then.

If you include today’s new fund, ISAI has raised over $350 million in total (€300 million). So ISAI Expansion II is by far the biggest fund to date.

Limited partners include dozens of successful tech entrepreneurs as well as institutional partners. Many existing investors invested once again in ISAI’s new fund. Some entrepreneurs joined the list for the first time.

With the previous ISAI Expansion fund, the firm invested in nine companies over five years. And ISAI already sold its shares in two companies, Hospimedia and Labelium.

ISAI also says that it can help entrepreneurs using owner buy-out transactions. By creating a holding company, this type of operations lets entrepreneurs cash out, buy shares from existing minor investors and work with a new investor.

More interestingly, ISAI doesn’t necessarily want to focus on Paris-based tech startups. The firm is also looking for investments in more traditional companies that aren’t yet taking advantage of digital opportunities.

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Hyderabad: The world’s largest furniture and home products company IKEA is unfazed by the changing policy landscape in India and was in the country for the long haul, global CEO Jesper Brodin told a select group of journalists here.Brodin’s take is significantly different from that of a few foreign retail executives who recently expressed wariness about the government’s latest draft policy that seeks to ring in sweeping changes to e-commerce business.“Our business is long term. Of course, politics follows its own cycles,” Brodin said in Hyderabad, where the largest Swedish retailer opens its first outlet in India on Thursday. “For me and for us, there is logic in what India is doing for the development of India and we have to trust and believe that and it will continue to happen. So I would say we are not sleepless over that.”Brodin said India is a long-term investment and one of the biggest future markets for IKEA and the company is prepared for some eventualities. “India is a big commitment for us and as a group, we are prepared to take risks for years to come,” he told a select group of reporters in Hyderabad.The IKEA store in Hyderabad’s HITEC City is spread over 400,000 sq ft.“By 2025, we need to bring a certain volume to our business in order to get an impact and profitability,” Brodin said at the store on the eve of its launch. “So, one store is too little volume for us to become as good as we want to.” IKEA would require at least need 8-10 stores in India to leverage economies of scale for the company in India.IKEA said it has been aggressive in pricing by offering 1,000 of the total 7,500 SKUs priced under Rs 200 and 500 of them below Rs 100 and the company seeks to build a long-term market rather than chasing short-term profitability. “We have taken a very offensive strategy, meaning we step in bravely into low prices,” the global head for the Swedish retailer said.“Coming years, we will exponentially increase our efforts into digital interface with the customers,” the CEO said. About 5% of IKEA’s 38 billion euros global revenue in 2017 came through online sales.IKEA looks to upwardly revise investmentsIKEA, which had agreed in 2013 to invest Rs 10,500 crore to open 25 stores in India, is now looking to speed up rollout of stores and upwardly revise its investments here, IKEA India deputy chief executive Patrik Antoni said.“We see India more positive today than we thought when we arrived. We arrived with a positive outlook. But we see a very strong demographic growth and the economy is strong,” Antoni told ETon the sidelines of a media conference on Wednesday.“We see bigger opportunities now,” said Antoni, adding that the changed economic environment and exploding retail market should help IKEA India expedite the rollout of its India stores and amplify investments.—CR Sukumar(Rasul Bailay was in Hyderabad at the invitation of IKEA.)

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Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for “Ad Age” under “Skills” in the Alexa app. What people are talking about today: Yesterday was National Avocado Day (not to mention National Shredded Wheat Day and National Orgasm Day, for what it’s worth.) Chipotle paid homage to the avocado with a guacamole giveaway, but things didn’t go as planned. The promotion was “apparently so popular that it crashed the company’s servers,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl.

The chain, looking on the bright side, says it had an unprecedented increase in new digital customers. “Unfortunately, breaking these records also broke the internet, but we are now back up and running,” a spokeswoman says. Bonus: The promo will be extended today. The guac snafu wasn’t the only Chipotle news. An outlet in Ohio was temporarily closed for cleaning Monday after employees and customers reportedly complained of falling ill. Chipotle sales have showed signs of recovery after past food safety issues, but investors didn’t like the latest news, and the company’s share price dropped over 6 percent Tuesday.


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Today the customer has more purchasing power than ever. In fact, as Jay Baer pointed out at ExactTarget Connections ’13, it typically takes 10.4 pieces of information before a customer makes a purchase, so it’s safe to say the buzz over content marketing isn’t just hype. Our job now as marketers is to make sure that we have the right content for customers to select our product or company as the perfect choice.

Do you have enough content pieces to be persuasive?

Marketing materials aren’t just for creating interest any more, they’re the first line of case deflection for customer support. Customers prefer self-serve information they can access conveniently at any point in the buying process, and especially when performing product research. If your company can be known for a brilliant resource centre, you’re in a great position when customers need information and remember you as a trusted expert.

If we consider what types of materials are created today (infographics, white papers, blog posts, customer reviews, etc.), we’re seeing that customers want information quickly and will take an actual customer’s word before the company in question.

Video for all parts of the customer journey

Impress your customers with how-to video contentAs a consumer, think of the last purchase you made. Where did you start? Chances are you went to Google first and YouTube second. You were probably looking for customer reviews, blog posts, or even video comparisons to ensure you were making the best choice possible.

Now, cut to once you’ve purchased the item. Regardless of what you bought; sometimes you have to figure out how to use the product or there’s an issue, or you just have some questions. Where do you go to get your question answered? My guess is that YouTube is usually your first destination. You probably look for how-to video content to teach you how to use the product, or search Google to find further, more detailed information.

How-to video content can be a great way for companies to free up support as it’s an engaging resource, can be tailored to interests, and delivers an on-demand experience. Let me give you some examples of customer case deflection situations based on video content marketing.

I recently bought a Canon Rebel T3i camera and became interested in buying a new lens. I went to the website but with so many features and settings, I didn’t want to spend tons of time reading so I turned to YouTube for all of my learning. Canon has never received a call from me, nor have I filed a support ticket because the video content answered my questions.

In much the same way, my brother has a Harley-Davidson Sportster and the spring on his kickstand fell off. Being a newer rider he didn’t know what to do because these springs are very tough to expand, let alone re-attach! His first thought to figure out how to solve this was head to YouTube. He never went to the dealership to pay to get it fixed, nor did he call in to Harley-Davidson.

Finally, a good friend of mine bought a toilet at Home Depot and after months of use, there was an issue with it. Instead of going to the store and asking questions, he turned to YouTube, found the highest-rated video and watched all of the details.

All of these examples underscore the fact that video is captivating and as time-pressed learners, some of us want to be shown rather than read about “how to”.

How B2B marketers use how-to video content

The examples I have given have all been B2C at this point, but I want to give you a good idea of what great customer service case deflection looks like from a B2B standpoint. LinkedIn is doing a really great job with their how-to video content which explains new product features, navigation, and they’ve even got webinars from a recruiter for job-seeking advice. Users are looking for this valuable how-to information and LinkedIn’s YouTube channel is a great way to drive leads back to their website to explore the features and get the most of their experience.

As you create great content about your company and products, I strongly suggest that you consider using how-to video for 2 reasons: 1. lead generation and 2. customer support. If you have great content available, prospects and customers will leverage this to make a decision to buy. A strong library of how-to videos keeps you top of mind and keeps customers engaged. To quote Jay Baer, “the difference between selling and helping is only 2 letters”.

The post “How-to” Video Content as Your First Line of Case Deflection appeared first on Vidyard.

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