Marketing expert Debbie A. Cannon believes that what's in our minds is more important than what's in our bank accounts.


"I worked for very large national companies, and I've worked for very small start-up companies. I've seen the large companies fail, and I've seen very small businesses prosper," she told members of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce on Monday.


That's because size doesn't always matter, vision does.


Most importantly, she said, a business person needs to decide between two divergent mindsets: Is their business planted or buried. By viewing one's business as being planted, good things can grow. When it's buried, tough times can suffocate potential opportunity.


"We have to plant and harvest [but] then most of us forget the cultivation. You can't plant carrots and expect to harvest apples."


Attitude is the key, said Cannon, a 30-year direct mail and marketing veteran who owns the Oak Hills-based DAC Enterprises.


"It is really up to you and me to decide how to live our lives and the choices that we make. After all your attitude is about your life.


"Today more than ever we're being asked to reevaluate, recreate, reinvent and renew everything in our lives and our business. Each of us is handling it in very different ways and using different coping skills, and I believe the strongest skill is our attitude. Our attitudes define whether we believe if we are buried or planted."


Cannon used the classic "The Wizard of Oz" film to demonstrate a successful mindset.


"I believe there are lessons there that still apply to all of us," she said. "There are core value lessons in 'The Wizard of Oz.'"


Dorothy and her animated entourage had a single vision: To find what they were looking for in the Land of Oz.


"They had a clear vision," Cannon suggested. "We should always know where we're going."


Dorothy also included others on her journey on the Yellow Brick Road.


"Find others," Cannon said. "Make sure it's a win-win for all involved. You've got to make sure you win and everyone else wins."


And when the Scarecrow lost his straw, instead of abandoning him, Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man helped him to thrive.


"Couldn't they have just left him behind and said, 'Too bad, there's nothing we can do?' They picked him up, put him back together and said, 'Come on. We're going.'"


Cannon's favorite scene, however, was when the lion was frightened.


"They gave him the courage. They supported him. Be adaptable to change."


The Good Witch/Bad Witch scenario also demonstrates we all have choices. Instead of looking back, look ahead to potential victories.


"It doesn't matter about your background. It doesn't matter where you came from. It doesn't matter where you started."


"The Wizard of Oz" also demonstrates that we all have fairy god mothers who have helped us to grow in life or business. And it's time to return the favor.


"We are all struggling in these extraordinary times. And we've never seen them before. Now is the time for great leadership, great vision. Now is the time we seek collaboration and inspiration."


Most importantly, said Cannon who serves as director of resource development for the High Desert Resource Network, the ruby slippers teach us that "you already have everything you need."


Businesses have closed their doors while others have survived. Much of what happens to our businesses depends on how we view these challenging times.


"Will this be the depression that makes us great?"


So, Cannon said, now is the time to decide if one's business is buried or planted.


"Planted assumes that with cultivation, nurturing and time a new harvest will appear, something fresh, something new. It's not the ending, it's actually a new beginning."