What Rembrandt can teach us about systems

Sep 09, 2022

Think we can’t learn from a painter who died over 350 years ago? Think again. 

I was just in Amsterdam and took in the sights at the Rijksmuseum. (Funny story: I booked these tickets at the same time as the Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix was running, meaning I made my husband miss a race he wanted to see and instead attend a museum, which he enjoys about as much as he enjoys extensive dental work without the benefit of novocaine. 🙃)

Anyhoo - I learned something really interesting about Rembrandt. We all know who he is and can probably recognize one of his paintings pretty easily. You know why that is? Because he had a system. 

Rembrandt not only painted, but he was also a prolific printmaker. He’s credited with elevating etchings and printmaking to a higher artform. Thanks to printmaking, he was able to recreate his original works over and over again. These prints were sold widely outside of the Dutch Republic, which launched him into international fame. 

You’ve heard the saying “Create it once and use it many times” - Rembrandt nailed this!

Thanks to his system of reproducing an original etching, so many more people knew who he was and were able to own a version of his artwork. He didn’t have to craft a million paintings in order to be in a million places. He could just create one and print it a million times. 

We can do this too! For example, this newsletter is my version of Rembrandt’s printmaking. I write this first as a newsletter. My VA then turns it into a blog post, a Facebook post and a LinkedIn post. Bazaam! I make one painting and turn it into four different works of art. Thanks to the support of my VA and our social media scheduler, I only write the words. The rest is handled by the systems we have in place. 

I love a system because it allows me to work less on the nitty gritty and more on what I’m uniquely awesome at. What systems do you have in place to help run your business? Can you leverage them even more so even more of your unique awesomeness goes out into the world?

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