Mondays with Marnie | No Experience? No Problem!


(The Ditch)

Thank God for The Ditch. A hole in the wall, Mexican restaurant that provided me a way to work and pay for college. When I first got to UT, I worked at a retail store and was broke as a joke. My roommate got a job as a waitress and was “rich!” She would come home from a shift and count her cash. I was envious of the immediate gratification of walking away from a day at work with money. She convinced me to give it a shot. I had no experience and El Arroyo was a fast paced, popular restaurant. I showed up without an interview scheduled and no idea if they were hiring. I will never forget how that went….

One of the owners, Clay McPhail happened to be the first person I encountered. He asked if he could help me and I explained that I was looking for a job as a waitress. 

Clay: “Have you ever waited tables?”

Me: “No.”

Clay: “Have you ever been a hostess?”

Me: “No.”

Clay: “Have you ever worked at a restaurant?”

Me: “No”

Clay: “Have you ever worked next door to a restaurant?”

Me: “No.”

Clay: “When can you start?”

Me: “Right now.”

Clay: “Okay, these five tables are yours. If you do okay, you are hired.” 

The whole shift was a blur. I faked it until I made it. I kept the chip baskets and drinks full. Who could complain if they never ran out of chips and alcohol? I asked for patience and explained that it was my first shift but that I would take great care of them. I figured it out. Intuition, a desire to please and a need to survive financially turned out to be the perfect combination for success. I was willing to do whatever it took. 

I think thats the common denominator among successful people. No job is too small, no person isn’t worthy of attention and the process can not be skipped. I hear college kids talking about looking for jobs when they graduate. They often rule out ideas because they have never done something in the past. I tell them to find a way to provide value to a person in a position they would like to have. Don’t ask how much they will be paid. Show up. Do something and get noticed. If you are waiting for an opportunity to come to you, it probably isn’t coming. If you are looking for an opportunity to provide value, I bet that can be found today. Go Get Em!



The average 30-year mortgage hit an all-time low of 2.65% last week, according to data from Freddie Mac. Thinking about refinancing if you haven’t done so already? I’d be happy to chat with you about it. 


My foodies need to check out this list of over 30 new restaurants and bars coming to Houston in 2021. From a New York inspired deli, to a self service beer and wine concept, to the return of a classic- this list has my mouth watering already!


You know the drawer I’m talking about… That catch-all for everything that doesn’t have a proper home. Where you can find a box of playing cards, a lint brush and a thermometer all in one place. Here’s a little advice on how and why to eliminate the junk drawer.


…reading Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness. It couples anecdotes with actions that can inspire change in our own lives, the lives of others, and throughout the world. Give it a read!