Why ‘Missed Opportunites’ Can Be A Blessing In Disguise
Recently someone on LinkedIn, quite cheekily, asked me about investments I had missed out on!
Me, miss an opportunity? Never.
Okay, maybe there have been one or two in the last few decades!!
While the question made me laugh, it actually made me think about the fact that missed opportunities are often perceived as failures or moments where a golden moment was fumbled, but what if these ‘missed investment opportunities’ aren't necessarily a bad thing?
I actually think that missed opportunities can teach you valuable lessons, contribute to your growth as an entrepreneur, and often pave the way for even more promising endeavours.
Of course, in the moment, it might not feel like that, but with enough reflection - and sometimes, just enough time for you to lick your wounds - you will often look back and realise that the best thing happened.
If you are in the midst of a ‘miss’ right now you might be screaming at your screen due to the above comment, but I think you’ll come around to my way of thinking… eventually!
So what are the best lessons you can take?
Criteria: Every decision you make, whether to invest or not, is guided by certain criteria, research, and gut instincts. When one doesn't pan out as expected, it's an opportunity to revisit those criteria and refine them.
Education: Never view a missed opportunity as a loss, but rather as an investment in education. More than just sounding like a nice way to soften a blow, these insights can genuinely have a profound effect on your investment approach, which you can then apply to future opportunities.
Self-Reflection: Self-reflection that is instigated by a perceived ‘fail’ can be the most valuable ‘inner work’ that you can do, but I have seen across my career that so few will actually take the chance for inwardly-seeking answers. And, by the way, I have not always got the foresight in the moment to enforce these rules on myself, so if you beat yourself up for a ‘miss’ that is natural too!
Alignment: Missed opportunities act as a filter that refines your process for your investment strategies and, over time, this can lead to a better quality selecting investments that align more closely with your objectives and values. The alignment piece is key here, when I look back at missed investments, I often find that - in retrospect - they didn't align with my long-term vision or the core values of my businesses.
Resilience: I find that one of the biggest misconceptions around unrealised chances is the feeling of rejection. For some reason, we human beings hate this feeling. From my experience, it is one of the most misunderstood emotions we experience. We make rejection personal, we give it meaning but it really is just part and parcel of the business world. If you can view it through the right lens, missed opportunities instil resilience. They teach you to bounce back, refine your approach, and keep moving forward.
Patience: One thing I've learned is that patience can be a huge benefit in the world of investments. I mentioned in a previous blog that you can’t always wait for investment conditions to be exactly perfect in all instances, but it’s not always advisable to grab the first opportunity that presents itself either. In the case of opportunities, waiting for the one that truly aligns with your vision is key and I've often found that the most rewarding come after a series of missed ones.
As hard as it can be, it is crucial to switch our perception of missed investment opportunities. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, we should embrace them as integral components of our journey to success.
p.s. If all the above still hasn’t healed the wounds of your last ‘miss’, remember even Warren Buffett missed out on investing in Amazon early on – and that hasn't stopped him from being one of the most successful investors in history.