Category Archives for "Personal"

I’m back!

Back in May I had a heart attack (see earlier post for details).

After release from the hospital, I took my time ramping up my work schedule, being sure to get plenty of rest, eating healthy, and walking a lot every day.

It's been 4 months now since I got out of the hospital, and I'm feeling good, and have been exercising EVERY day (which is amazing and feels great).

At 67 years old, I feel like I have a new lease on life. (A friend suggested I "get that in writing"...)

I have been very busy with my Architect Marketing Institute business development coaching program with my amazing partner Richard Petrie and our team, however I haven't put much energy into my Archicad work. It's time to adjust the balance, and share my gifts and passion about Archicad again with users around the world.

I've resumed teaching my Archicad Best Practices 2020 training course, continue to offer weekly Archicad Coaching Program small group webinars, as well as my monthly ARCHICAD USER webinar series.

MasterTemplate 25 will finally be released - I apologize for the delay in getting this out the door. Look for an announcement soon...

I'm back!


My Heart Attack

TLDR: I had a heart attack and survived.
I'm OK now. (Videos below)

It was late on Saturday night May 15.

I felt short of breath, and generally pretty lousy.

I debated whether to tell my wife Le'ema - I didn't want to worry her.

It had started the day before, when we did a brisk walk with our dog, and I felt like I couldn't get enough air and my chest felt funny.

Similar experiences came and went that Friday and Saturday, then got worse Saturday night.

After the heart attack: in my stylish hospital gown

It was 1:30 am, and I felt bad in an odd sort of way, even lying down.
I knew that I needed to get this checked out by a doctor.

My pulse was racing at 93 beats per minute - my heart was struggling even as I rested quietly. My blood pressure was 161 over 95; very very high.

I finally told Le'ema what was going on. She asked me how I felt. I said I felt bad, that something was really wrong. She asked for more details, but there was nothing else I could really say to describe it.

I asked her to drive me to the emergency room at the local hospital at about 2 am.

We raced the 15 minutes to Marin General Hospital as I steadied my nerves, attempting to breathe slowly and fully.

My wife remained calm, although inside she was a wreck.
She is a "shero" (female hero) for getting me there safely!

At the Hospital Door

We walked up to the emergency room door and she announced to the nurse "My husband is having a heart attack."

It was very scary, although they treated us efficiently and quickly got me to an examination room. The EKG came back "abnormal" and Dr. Gin (who had rushed over from her nearby home) told me in a steady voice "you have serious heart disease, and we're taking you to the Cath Lab right away."

I had never been told that I had heart disease, this was a surprise.

The last time I had a complete physical checkup (4 years ago), I had been told my cholesterol was high and that I should start taking statin drugs to control it. I asked if I could reduce my cholesterol through diet instead, and was told "maybe, you can try" I took that as a go-ahead to make some small changes (such as eating oatmeal from time to time).

Big mistake. I never went back for a follow-up.

Here I am 4 years later, at the emergency room with a heart attack.

Stupid me.

Fixing me up...modern science at it's best

My wife was allowed in to see me before they took me to the Cath Lab. She was delighted to see the all female medical team, and as they wheeled me away Dr. Gin talked with her about my condition. Le'ema says Dr. Gin is a real "shero" for saving my life.

The Cath Lab is a short name for the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory, where they perform angioplasty procedures to open up cardiac arteries for people in distress like me. They placed my right arm in a sterile covering (a super-long glove) and proceeded to insert a catheter tube into an artery on my wrist, and snake it up to my heart.

It's incredible. I'm lying there awake (they only lightly sedate the patient) and listening to the medical team as they review the images onscreen showing my heart beating. The angiograms are somewhat like X-Rays, imaged using the CAT Scan machine that I'm lying on, using a radioactive contrast dye that they drip into my blood vessels.

After the procedure, I was shown the rather beautiful, intricate traceries of the blood vessels. Apparently my main artery, the one they call The Widowmaker, was 95% blocked. This severely limited the blood flow and caused the sensation of being short of breath - my heart was not getting enough oxygen, even as I breathed in as much air as I could.

I lay there for more than 2 hours as they planned and executed the procedure. There were complications and they had to figure out the best way to handle the most important blockages first.

Angioplasty opens up the arteries (which have been clogged with sticky plaque from the cholesterol and blood cells that get stuck on it) using a tiny balloon that pushes apart the artery walls. Then the balloon is removed and a stent (a tiny metal framework almost like a woven basket) is inserted and expanded. This keeps the walls separated so they don't collapse back down.

This process has only been in use for the past 25 or 30 years. Prior to that, a blockage like I had would have meant open heart surgery and multiple bypasses (extra blood vessels removed from another part of the body and placed in the heart to facilitate normal blood flow).

I am SO grateful that the doctors were able to handle this almost like magic - threading a tube through my body, with just a tiny insertion into my wrist!

After 2 hours they decided to give my body some rest; they had put in 3 stents, taking care of the emergency. They told me that I would get 2 more the next day, after my body rested and would be able to tolerate another procedure.

My wife had been in a waiting room nearby, all by herself. She was beside herself, not knowing whether I would survive. After 2 hours they came out and told her it had been a success, and she found her way up to my hospital room. She went home at 5 or 6 in the morning, and tried to sleep.

A 4 minute message from my hospital bed

Hospital Routine? Not Quite...

I settled into my new routine in the hospital - nurses coming at all odd hours, checking my "vitals" - blood pressure, heart rate and oxygenation of my blood; drawing blood; running additional EKG tests, and god knows what else.

A sweet young nurse came in later that morning to do a bedside echocardiogram. Just like the sonograms that are used to image the fetus in a pregnant woman, a metal device was rubbed slowly over my chest and shot sound waves into my body. Onscreen my heart revealed its structure and movement. It was bizarre and wonderful to see my beating heart onscreen.

She looked from all different angles, then paused in one area. One part of my heart wall was not moving as it normally should; it is in shock from the heart attack. It may recover full function - or not - they can't tell yet.

She looks deeper, and injects an albumen-based (non-radioactive) contrast dye through my intravenous feed.

This allows her to study an area that shows another issue - a clot, or thrombis.

This is somewhat serious - clots can grow or detach and move to another area such as the lungs or brain, and can be fatal.

They immediately put me on "blood thinners" to reduce that risk to a minimum. I'll be on these meds for a few months. The hope is that the clot will gradually dissolve as my heart returns to more healthy function.

I ask the cardiologists who come by my bedside whether I'll be OK. They say I will need to be careful, but they are hopeful that with the right meds, and better diet and moderate exercise, I'll be OK.

The next day, my brother tells me that he has 2 stents, put in 22 years ago. My cousin, age 90, tells me a similar story. I'm filled with hope, and so grateful that at age 67 I have been given another chance.

The Next Chapter

I love my life and my work - however I've let my work rule my day to day life to an unhealthy extent. Staying up until 1 or 2 am catching up on emails and answering support questions. Sleeping 6 or 7 hours then forcing myself to get back to work with just a coffee as my breakfast. No time for exercise, other than walking the dog.

Since I got out of the hospital one week ago, I've been walking several times a day, enjoying the fresh air on my own, or with our dog, or with my wife and the dog. I've been taking naps, sitting in the sun in our glorious, peaceful backyard.

I've started back to work, however I'm giving myself some slack...and stopping my nightly work shift well before midnight...

Of course, the real challenge will be how to prioritize health and relaxation while still getting the essential work done.

I've received so much support from family, friends, business associates, clients and "followers" (people who enjoy my free Archicad tutorials or other resources I share). Hundreds of messages of encouragement, and many stories of overcoming similar challenges. These boost my spirits.

I know I make a difference in this world, and that people care about me. I have much to live for, and am so very grateful to have some more time to enjoy and to share my gifts.

If you're reading this, please know that you are important to me. I wish you the best in your life, and that you may have abundant health and joy.

Don't be stupid like I was.

If you get medical advice, don't ignore it. None of us is a superman or superwoman. I have been healthy all my adult life, hardly ever getting sick. That didn't keep me from getting heart disease. "I shoulda known better..."

In humility, and with deep gratitude,


65 Years on the Planet, 30 Years with ARCHICAD – Looking Back, Looking Forward

Today, April 18th 2019 is my 65th birthday!

And by coincidence (in terms of important milestones), it's my 30th year working with ARCHICAD; and last week, my ARCHICAD Tutorials YouTube channel reached 25,000 subscribers.

I'm sharing the event with my ARCHICAD tribe, and you're invited (of course) to celebrate with me this special occasion in a special edition of the ARCHICAD USER monthly webinar. 

In today's session, I'll be giving you my perspective on the ARCHICAD journey along with two guests who played very important roles.

If you're not already registered, click here to join us at 1 pm PDT or you can catch the recording later on the ARCHICAD USER website.


If I've helped you along the ARCHICAD journey, with my tutorials, training courses or MasterTemplate, here are two ways you can give me a birthday gift:

  1. Write up a testimonial about my work and how it has helped you on this page
  2. Buy one of my ARCHICAD products during my BIG 65th birthday sale, which runs through the end of May.

Help me celebrate at


The “One Thing” I’m Doing That Will Make A Big Difference

Eric in Bali - profile pictureI’ve started a process that’s changing my entire attitude about life and work. Day by day, this powerful catalyst will allow me to transform myself and the way I approach everything I do.

10 days ago I consciously started two new daily habits. I’ve been consistent and motivated, and taken care of these two things every day, even when I didn’t feel like it.

I’ve committed myself to 30 days, then if things have gone well, another 30, so that they truly become habits. Once I’ve instilled them as habits, I know it will get MUCH easier.

What are these two magic things? These are two little hinges that will swing the door of my life and work. I’ll tell you about them in a little while, but first, it’s important to know the back story.


The-One-Thing-bookAs an independent entrepreneur, I continually struggle with focus and always have more tasks on my To Do list than I can possibly accomplish. On my plate are things I know I should do, or want to do, or have promised to do.

Day by day, I chip away at whatever is in front of me, but all too often, I find that at 5 pm, I still haven’t done “the thing” that I told myself was important to do that day. I had answered everyone’s emails, taken care of lots of little things, but not focused or prioritized well.

I realized that I needed help with this core issue, and discovered two very inspiring and practical books that I highly recommend:

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months – by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

The-12-Week-Year-bookThey both deal with focus and prioritizing what’s important by setting specific goals in line with your long-term vision and mission.

I created a 12 Week Plan that lays out what I’m setting out to accomplish in that time frame, broken up into weekly task lists and targets. To have success with this system, it’s important to start each day by reviewing the planning document, seeing where things stand, and deciding what to focus on and when.

I’ve never been very good at planning my days or my long term goals. When I have a specific project, such as launching the Masters of ArchiCAD Summit, there is urgency and I make sure the most important things get done. However when it’s more long term, my efforts are sporadic and vulnerable to getting sidetracked with the many small but seemingly urgent tasks that each day brings up. And I’m often jumping from task to task, or multi-tasking, rather than focusing on one thing and getting it done.

My usual solution when I realize that I haven’t taken care of things that need to get done that day is to go back to my desk in the evening and work until midnight or 2 am, whatever it takes. Of course, this is not healthy, and impacts my family and my enjoyment of life, as well as my health.

And since I am always a bit tired from the long day before, with a never-ending task list, my only exercise has been my 15 minute walk to Peet’s Coffee each morning (where I work for an hour or two on my laptop) and walking the dog with my wife a few times a week.


  1. When I get to Peet’s Coffee and settle down with my Latté and my laptop, instead of starting by going through my email, I’m reviewing my Weekly Plan and setting out my priorities for the day. Even though I may not get everything done, I’m making sure that first thing in the day I’m getting in touch with my “most important” goals and tasks, so I can make effective choices.
  2. After going through emails and doing some writing or other creative work at the café, I go home and do a workout (for the first time in years). I’m using the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout app on my iPhone, which guides me through a series of exercises. They’re scientifically designed to alternate muscle groups with 30 second intervals of vigorous or isometric exercises, getting the maximum out of a short workout (you can do longer sessions, up to 20 minutes, with this app).

Johnson-and-Johnson-7-Minute-Workout-appThe daily planning process will lead me to making more effective choices of how to focus my time throughout the day, and ultimately, getting traction on the most important things in my work and life.

The daily workout sessions will give me more strength and fitness, as well as more energy to enjoy life and work even more effectively. This is an investment in my body and my life that will pay many types of dividends.

In the book The One Thing, the authors point out that trying to be extremely disciplined with everything in life is awfully hard, and that “will power” to follow through usually falters and gets used up while pushing through challenging tasks. They recommend choosing and developing productive habits, instilling each one by doing it consistently over a period of two months. Once it becomes a habit, it takes virtually no will power to do it, so you reap the rewards without expending as much effort.

I feel really excited as I create these two specific habits, since they will definitely help make everything else in my life flow more easily. I’ll share my progress with you from time to time, and look forward to sharing the journey with you if you choose to try something like this yourself.

I’d love to read your thoughts. Can you relate to my feeling of having too many tasks on an endless To Do list? Have you ever tried anything like this? Please click here to post a comment…


My 60th Birthday Celebration – Three Gifts for You

Eric Bobrow, ArchiCAD GuruIn honor of my big 6-0 (which is TODAY), I’m offering you three special gifts:

1) Hangout with me in a one-time-only event April 28 as I share some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the past 60 years.

In this exclusive, behind-the-scenes online session I’ll reveal for the first time the 7 top strategies that form the touchstones of my success in business and in personal life.

2) Get a great deal on any of my products in my big 60th birthday sale.

If you’ve been thinking of investing in yourself, now is a great time to do it.

3) At the end of this post I share personal thoughts on turning 60.

Two life-changing events coincide and make this day especially poignant.


On April 28 at 12 Noon PDT you are invited to hangout online with me in a unique 60 minute event celebrating my 60 years on the planet.

I’ll share some of my personal story, then reveal for the first time the 7 key success strategies that I’ve figured out over the past 25 years running my own business.

These are my touchstones – the things I think about working day to day as well as creating long-term strategic plans. They help me in business and in personal life.

My close friend and business partner Enoch Sears (host of the Business of Architecture podcast) will guide me and make sure that we share a really special hour together.

On this private session I’ll reveal:

  • The two simple strategies used by Richard Branson and Bill Gates to build billion-dollar companies (and how you can apply them to be more profitable without doing more work)
  • The one tactic that can flip the way potential clients view your services (and draw them to you with irresistible psychological forces)
  • How get more work done in less time (while growing your business and working more on the things you enjoy)

This call is invite-only. Just one of these ideas could be a game-changer for you.

This high-leverage information and direct business coaching comes from decades of experience. There will be gems that provide a tremendous amount of value to everyone who attends.

I’d like to make sure that everyone can afford to join me, so I’m making it available at 3 price levels:

NOTE: All levels give you equal access to the event.
The difference is in the size of your birthday gift!

If you’ve received great value from my teaching, feel free to thank me and help me celebrate with a higher level ticket purchase.

This session will NOT be made available publicly. The only way to hangout with me and learn my 7 key strategies is to buy a ticket. If you can’t attend live on April 28, you’ll get access to the recording.

I look forward to sharing this special occasion with you.


If you’ve been thinking about buying any of my products…

  • ArchiCAD training to help you get the most out of this powerful software…
  • MasterTemplate to maximize your productivity on ArchiCAD projects…
  • Marketing training to help you grow your design business…

My 60th Birthday Celebration Sale is a great time to invest in yourself!

For the next week, grab this opportunity to celebrate my 60th and get a fantastic deal on any of my products.

I’m going to make this as easy as possible for you to take advantage of this special opportunity. For every one of these products, you’ll have a full 60 days to pay with no interest (pay 1/3 down, 1/3 in 30 days, 1/3 in 60 days).


The most comprehensive training resource for ArchiCAD
Includes basics (QuickStart Course), intermediate and advanced video lessons PLUS membership in my ArchiCAD Coaching Program (get my help when you have an ArchiCAD question)

  • ONLY $600 (save $97)
  • BONUS 6 extra months of ArchiCAD Coaching (get 12 months of coaching instead of 6 months)
  • SUPER BONUS – get 60 minutes personal coaching with me ONE ON ONE!

Click here to grab the Best Practices Course plus all these bonuses at a GREAT price


The basics of ArchiCAD in 13 hours of video
Get up to speed quickly, with Best Practices principles to ensure you are starting off in the best possible manner


The Office Standard for ArchiCAD
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I’m coming into this celebration with joy and sadness.

A few days ago, my wife’s father passed away after a long illness. We spent the past week with her family in El Paso Texas. It was bittersweet, as it brought the family closer together as we shared our loss and remembered.

One of the moments I savored was a morning in which my wife and son lay down quietly together, breathing and feeling each other’s hearts beating. It might have been only a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.

I’m going to take the next few days off, enjoying time with my family in nature, away from the computer and the phone as much as I can.

Catch you later!



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