Uncaged Secrets

Invisible progress

Published about 1 year ago • 3 min read

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Progress is happening. You just need to measure differently.

This issue is brought to you by Uncaged Life Design. Stuck in corporate hell? These 8 minutes will change your life.

The Secret

It’s natural to look for “real” results in your life.

You seek tangible, in-your-face indicators that X is working.

X might be:

  • Exercise (result: fit body)
  • Job success (result: compensation)
  • Social media growth (result: followers)
  • Side business success (result: revenue)

You feel this driving need to achieve results now.

Now, logically, you know there’s no such thing as an overnight success.

But your ego craves results…now.

You look around at your role models, and they’re (seemingly) swimming in instant wins.

Everything they touch turns to gold.

I remember feeling depressed for months when I couldn’t get my coaching business off the ground.

Everyone around me seemed to have their act together, yet I was in the red.

I was spiraling into deep despair.

The picture that changed everything

It was late 2020 when I saw an image that utterly changed me.

Jack Butcher’s Twitter-famous “this is pointless” sketch:

Big idea: you’ve smacked the piñata 100+ times, but nothing happens. Little do you know, you’re just a couple of swings away from getting the candy. You were progressing this whole time, but you couldn’t see it.

I call this Invisible Progress.

We must have faith in Invisible Progress.

But more than faith, we need to choose new indicators of success.

This is how we know we’re on the right track.

So, how do you measure something you can’t see?

Measuring Invisible Progress

Rather than just measure outputs (e.g., revenue, job promotion, followers), we need to measure (and value) the inputs even more.

Let’s walk through some example inputs that indicate progress.

Job Promotion

  • Having coffee with influential leaders
  • Creating new intellectual property
  • Taking on a high-visibility project

Starting a Business

  • Establishing a marketing funnel
  • Posting on social media daily
  • Guesting on podcasts

Getting in Shape

  • Staying in a caloric deficit
  • Doing intermittent fasting
  • Working out 4x/week

These inputs are all indicators of Invisible Progress.

Everything you’re doing is secretly compounding in the background.

The tangible outputs will soon be visible.

The key is persistence and endurance.

Want a striking example? Look at how Warren Buffett’s net worth grew:


In the Psychology of Money, Morgan Housel captures what's at play:

“If you want to do better as an investor, the single most powerful thing you can do is increase your time horizon. Time is the most powerful force in investing.

Time (persistence) applies to any meaningful pursuit (not just money).

Stay in the game. You’re making Invisible Progress.

Having faith in the unseen

To change our reality, we often just need to ask better questions.

Right now, you’re asking, “Where are my results?!?”

So, instead of stressing over outputs, let’s ask a better question: “Am I pushing myself to constantly experiment and learn?

If so, those gains will show up soon enough.

Your progress is just invisible.

Think of Kobe or Michael practicing relentlessly in the gym. To boil down their success formula: measure shots, not baskets (i.e., inputs, not outputs).

“Our main issue is depth perception. We think it’s further away than it is. What if that’s the great lie of life? What if you’re only one day, one decision, one thought away?”
—Ed Mylett

Grasping the idea of Invisible Progress was a game-changer for me.

It gave me context.

It gave me fuel and peace of mind.

It helped me endure the (long) pursuit.

I hope you’re actively pursuing something BIG right now — something life-altering.

Yes, it’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna hurt. It might feel impossible.

But keep going.

Keep the unrelenting faith in your Invisible Progress.


Growth looks different for everyone.


Play the Game (So You No Longer Have To): Everything in life is a game — professionally and personally. The trick is to know which games are worth playing and for how long. (Prime example: corporate promotion game.) Join us for the "how to" of playing the right you no longer have to play them. (🎧 Listen here)

That’s it for today, my friend! I appreciate you.



PS - whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:

  1. Learn to end corporate burnout, win back your time, and start your entrepreneurial future (8-min video)
  2. Craft your "Uncaged" career-life game plan with us in a complimentary breakthrough call
  3. Just reply and let me know how I can help you or a friend

Uncaged Secrets

by Matt Doan

Battle-tested strategies for escaping the Corporate Cage and using your superpowers to build entrepreneurial freedom (career & life). Leveraging 15 years in strategy consulting to build a 7-figure lifestyle business and give my family the life they deserve.

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