Love The One You’re With: John Martinez on Work-Life Harmony, Discipline, and the Power of Compassion

By Dominic Roberts |

February 20, 2023

In a recent interview with Event Industry News, James Dickson speaks to our founder and CEO John Martinez. As a former quantum physicist, John brings a unique perspective to the world of event management. For over 25 years, Shocklogic has been providing platforms for virtual events long before the pandemic shifted the industry’s thinking and delivery. Our extensive suite of software and services support every aspect of planning and executing onsite, virtual, and hybrid events, from simple webinars to full-scale virtual event experiences. We are an award-winning, family-run, and value-centred company, with an international client base that includes some of the world’s largest and most complex organisations.

In this insightful interview, John discusses his approach to work/life balance, the importance of delivering for his team, the role of intelligence and discipline, the power of algorithms, and the logic behind ‘love the one you’re with’. James prompts John to share his thoughts on the company’s cultural shift, his commitment to simplifying the lives of event organisers, and his focus on mindfulness and meditation. With its rich blend of personal and professional experiences, this interview provides a deep examination of John’s life and management philosophy.

One of the key takeaways from the interview is that John doesn’t believe the term work/life balance is particularly helpful. Instead, he prefers to think of it as work/life harmony or integration. “To try and draw a line between the two would be really difficult, especially as we are constantly being told that we are not doing this well.” For John, that means creating a culture of kindness, where everyone is valued and supported, “We want to create an environment where people want to come to work.” 

Part of that culture is John’s commitment to the development of human potential. As he puts it, “that’s what I get out of bed in the morning for.” He’s passionate about helping his team members grow and learn, and he takes great joy in seeing them overcome challenges and achieve their goals. He also believes in the power of mindfulness and meditation, which is why every meeting at Shocklogic starts with a three-minute breathing exercise. “It’s a way to calm the mind and focus on the present moment.”

John’s commitment to compassion and opportunity comes from his own experience. John’s life began in humble surroundings in Venezuela, where he was raised by his mother, a single parent who not only raised him but also adopted and fostered 19 other children. He received a scholarship to study in a military boarding school, which changed the trajectory of his life. “That wouldn’t have happened if somebody hadn’t given me the opportunity with a scholarship. So how can I live my life and not create opportunities for others?” It’s a question that helps guide and influence his decisions.

John is also hugely proud to work with his son, Johnny D Martinez, and sees it as an opportunity to bond and learn from each other. He enjoys the process of making decisions, finding solutions, and facing challenges together. “I’m so lucky that I work with my son. It’s a joy every day to work with him, to make decisions, look for solutions, and face problems together and to see him grow and develop.” 

John’s background as a quantum physicist has helped shape his management philosophy. He believes in the power of algorithms and systems, but he also knows that discipline beats intelligence any day. He cites the example of Messi and Ronaldo in football, where Ronaldo’s discipline and hard work have helped him achieve greatness despite perhaps not being as naturally gifted as Messi. 

John discusses how the same principle applies to all walks of life. “Everyone knows somebody in life who has a natural gift but hasn’t pushed themselves as hard or been as disciplined as they could have been and somebody else who may not be as naturally gifted but through sheer determination and hard work, they have achieved something far greater than expectation would have predicted. If you have discipline, you can do anything.”

When it comes to organising events, John believes there are three main reasons: to connect people, to distribute content or knowledge, and to create experiences. He’s committed to simplifying the lives of event organisers. But he also knows that events are ultimately about people and emotions. That’s why he values compassion and kindness as core values of Shocklogic. “Everyone you come across is fighting in some battle. We want to be kind because that’s how we can make a positive impact on the world.” 

He feels that taking care of his team is crucial to the success of the company and has added two coaches to his team to help achieve this. “I don’t have the skill set to deal with some of the issues that some of my colleagues are facing. If someone is facing a cancer scare, has a problem at home, or is in a relationship that is breaking down, they won’t be productive no matter how much we shout at them. It makes such good business sense to take care of your people.”

In the end, John’s philosophy is simple: love the one you’re with, whether it’s your team, your customers, or yourself. “I’m one of these lucky people who love what they do, I have the most amazing team who I’m absolutely in love with.” That love is the foundation of his success, and it’s what makes him and Shocklogic stand out in the world of event technology.

To listen to the full interview, visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9JLazste0A