MagNet was magnificent last week. After three days of non-stop seminars and schmoozing, I came away exhausted, but inspired. One of the many motivating speakers was Paul Copcutt, a branding guru from Hamilton, Ont., whose session was dubbed Brand New, Brand You. I’ve always had a tendency to dismiss so-called “branding” as a bunch of marketing malarky. But Paul put a spin on it that struck a chord. He emphasized that branding should stem entirely from your authentic self. That means reflecting first on your core values and what you really want to achieve with your work. Once you’ve defined that, branding is simply a matter of communicating those values. I still cringe at the idea of reducing everything in life to branding. Still, branding in business is a fact of life, and defining your business vision is enormously helpful. For once, Paul presented a meaningful definition of branding that cut through the crap. More on MagNet later.