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3 Reasons I'm Not Looking Back After Missing Out on $19 Billion Stop worrying about the opportunities you missed and focus on how you can make the most of your next chance.

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

baloon111 | Getty Images

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

This is what immediately comes to mind when I hear entrepreneurs whining and complaining about missed opportunities. Opportunities are placed in front of us daily, and sometimes we miss out. It happens all the time.

Dwelling on missed opportunities is completely useless -- you can't change the past. Use it as a learning experience and move on.

I remember when I was first introduced to bitcoin -- it was October of 2010, and I was meeting up with a fellow entrepreneur for a quick bite to eat. He said something along the lines of, "I think I'm going to throw some money at bitcoin -- what do you think?"

I passed. I didn't understand it enough at the time and I had too much on my plate.

The other day I overheard someone say, "If only I invested $1,000 in bitcoin seven or eight years ago. I missed my one opportunity."

That way of thinking is so toxic.

If I had the same mentality, I would be complaining nonstop about how I missed out. Just to throw some ridiculous math out there, imagine if I tossed $10,000 into bitcoin when it was at a dime per coin and then sold at its highest point, which was about $19,000. Hypothetically speaking, I missed out on $19 billion.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

No matter what kind of opportunities you miss out on, you can't dwell on them. Here are three reasons to never look back.

Related: How 5 Entrepreneurs With Household Names Turned Failing Businesses Into Successes

1. Missing out (and making mistakes) in the past doesn't define who you are.

We all miss out on opportunities and we all make mistakes, but none of this ultimately defines who we are or who we become. It's the opportunities that we do take advantage of and capitalize on that define us.

Do people refer to Jeff Bezos as the guy that started zShops, a failed brand, or the founder of Amazon and the wealthiest individual in the world?

Imagine if he spent time dwelling on that missed opportunity. Now imagine a world without Amazon. Plenty of successful entrepreneurs failed in the past -- it's part of the game.

Related: Do These 50 Things Regularly and You'll Become a Better Entrepreneur

2. Dwelling on the past will prevent you from growing.

If you dwell on the past you will never grow. It's the missed opportunities and the failures that teach you priceless lessons and shape your mind moving forward. Failure is part of the ride. I failed multiple times, but I never dwelled on the past.

Every time I was knocked down, I bounced right back up, ready to take more punches. Through all of the early struggles and failure I discovered that the marketing aspect of each business I started was the one part I truly loved. It eventually led to me starting my first marketing agency.

Most people like to just focus on the wins and successes, but most entrepreneurs have been through many more downs than ups. Those that don't dwell on the past are able to push through and eventually win.

Related: 8 Hugely Successful People Who Didn't Graduate College

3. Looking back will cause you to miss new opportunities in front of you.

Missed opportunities happen all the time -- from not investing in bitcoin eight years ago to not replying to an email -- whatever the circumstance, you can't go back and change the past so there is absolutely no reason to look back.

By looking back, you risk the possibility of missing a new opportunity that crosses your path.

I make a conscious effort to always look forward -- and this leads to personal growth and new opportunities to capitalize on. If you constantly look back, it can turn into a vicious cycle of missed opportunities. Leave the past behind you and focus on moving forward and you will be constantly presented with new opportunities.
Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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