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“I went from the blue rags to the boardroom,”

What have you done since you’ve been out that you are most proud of?

“I’m off parole,” he boomed. “I don’t have to stress about the state anymore. For me, that’s a real goal–you should have a goal the day you get out.”

As his company website, The Close the Deal Network says, “Terrence McRae is a risk-taker. Taking a chance on himself, Terrence decided to go into entrepreneurship. Although his first venture did not go as planned, he learned vital lessons that he believed every green entrepreneur needed to know and there birthed The Close the Deal Show. Just two years after The Close the Deal Show first aired on television, Terrence has connected hundreds of entrepreneurs and professionals and built this wonderful community and network.

His life philosophy is “I’m showing how to model being a successful person.  I am always networking – with the goal to make sure you don’t put yourself at risk of others.”

As for Bonafide, “It gave me confidence.  When David (Cowan Bonafide’s co-founder) met me at the gate, I knew that someone wanted to give me a start…. I realized I had the confidence to be on the right path – that path was to get off parole.”

Terrence receiving his Welcome Back Pack on the day he returned to the community.

“You don’t figure it out on day one. I’ve been out for 5 years.  It took me six months to adjust and another 18 months of networking before I knew how to succeed in the workforce,” Terrence said.

“Every day you have a Chance and a Choice, it’s up to you how you use them.  I went from the blue rags to the boardroom,” Terrence said as he thought about how far he has come in the past five years. “I have a business and I instruct others on the value of networking and discipline to develop a successful business.”

When asked what being part of the Bonafide community meant, he said, “I’ve always known how to represent myself, but Bonafided reminded me that I needed to set an example. Now I just ‘pay-it-forward’ as I learned from Bonafide. 

For example, in a lecture to an Oakland high school class, he said “I created a network of small businesses, non-profits, and individuals that all work together to promote working together and learn how to make money with your business.”

When asked about his current challenges, he said, “Look it is not just about making money, you must be able to save money for retirement and be able to take care of yourself by the time your 65. You don’t want to be like the OG in prison with no money on his books.”

Terrence making a business pitch at a Defy Ventures event.

If you want to hear more of Terrence’s story, watch this video of him speaking to Oakland high school students, go to his company website at THE CLOSE THE DEAL NETWORK, or view his .org website.