Jillian Harris Reveals Her One Regret from Her Time on “The Bachelorette ”(Exclusive)

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Harris says, "as far as the relationships part of it goes, I have no regrets"

<p>John Fleenor/Getty; Jeff Petry/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Jillian Harris

John Fleenor/Getty; Jeff Petry/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Jillian Harris

While Jillian Harris says she has no regrets about the relationships forged during her stint as the Bachelorette, she does say she'd do at least one thing differently.

"When I look at the things I did and how I behaved and me being in the hot tub and all that kind of stuff, that's just who I am and what the show brought out in me," she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"And without sounding like I was in it for a career or money, the only thing that I regret doing is I truly, truly, throughout the experience and afterwards, was so into it for the relationship that I think I missed out on some really cool opportunities."

As Harris explains, "I turned down a lot of really cool opportunities because I was like, 'Oh, I don't want anybody to think that I'm in it for the fame or I'm in it for the money.' "

Harris, now 44, appeared as a contestant on The Bachelor before being cast as the lead on the fifth season of The Bachelorette. She ended the show with an engagement to Ed Swiderski, though the two broke up in 2010.

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Related: The Bachelorette's Jillian Harris Reveals She and Fiancé Are Planning European Wedding After 12 Years of Dating (Exclusive)

Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of the launch of a new doll collection with cuddle+kind, Harris says she doesn't have regrets about her time on the show.

"As far as the relationships part of it goes, I have no regrets. I, quote, unquote, 'followed my heart,' and I picked who I thought was best. It didn't work out, and then I found the right person," she says.

Harris met now-fiancé Justin Pasutto in 2012, and the two got engaged in December 2016. They share two children, 8-year-old Leo and 6-year-old daughter Annie and recently revealed to PEOPLE that they are planning a fall 2025 European wedding.

And while Harris is happy that she "focused on the relationships" during her time on The Bachelorette, she acknowledges that she passed up business opportunities at the time, due to how she worried it might look to the public.

"These days, the girls and the guys [on the show], they know if they're going to make it to the end, they're going to be able to really monetize," Harris says. "And I think you can monetize and take advantage of this situation while still having a relationship. You can do both."

She continues: "I think the show really made me believe that if I went and did all these appearances or built a brand afterwards, that it would look like I was in it for the wrong reasons, and I really believed that. But now looking back, I wish I would've started sooner."

Harris did seize the moment, she acknowledges, and has launched several successful products and collaborations, and appeared on other television shows after The Bachelorette, including Love It or List It Vancouver and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

"I still did great with what was provided to me," she says. "And luckily, I have an entrepreneurial mindset, and luckily, I had a bit of a career in design, so I was able to build off of that. But yeah, there's a part of me that thinks I could have done more with it back then."

Related: Jillian Harris and Fiancé Justin Pasutto Launch New Line of Dolls Inspired by Their Kids and Dogs: 'Heart and Soul'

These days, Harris says she's content to live a "slow but busy little life in a beautiful area in Canada" — one largely removed from the spotlight.

"We are with family all the time. We, for the most part, stay out of the media. We get to decide what we want to put out there ... the spotlight's all fine and dandy until there's something more important than the spotlight, and that was being with my family," she says.

She continues: "Due to me being on the show, I've created a different empire that's separate from The Bachelor, and I'm really proud of it. I'm sure I would've done great things without the show, but the show was kind of a turbo booster for my career, and I'm really happy that I took that risk."

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