Whoa, this topic hits so close to home. I've been in the music business for about 25 years now (not consecutively...had to do the life/job/family thing). I have some fairly notable placements with underground artists such as Rapper Big Pooh formerly of Little Brother, Chandon of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E league, Skyzoo, Boog Brown, top 4 finalists in the hnhh.com Phryme Remix contest, and a fairly popular web series TV placement on blacknsexytv.net to name a few.
Although I am extremely grateful for these opportunities, none of them were profitable. Also another thing I should note and perhaps some of you can identify with this too... I wasn't in a position to leverage these opportunities at the time they were presented. Ever heard of the saying "You gotta strike while the iron's hot"? Well, that saying is true as hell! See, it's one thing to produce a "product" that is good, well packaged, in demand and able to be marketed. It is an entirely different animal to know you have a basket of sweet fruit that people at the market will buy but have no way to get it there. That's the proverbial position that I was in. I had a small buzz going but I didn't follow through the way that I should've because I couldn't be all the places that I needed to be, when I needed to be there. You have to be able to deliver on demand and my creation process is not one that yields an endless supply of beats. I take a more personalized approach with production so the rate of songs I produce may be a lot less than other producers that have catalogs with hundreds or even thousands of beats. If you wanna get in the game, you gotta be ready to play and although I had a cool little buzz, I simply wasn't ready. See a lot of people want success but actually being ready for success is a whole different story. I had a full time career in IT that paid my bills and took care of my son at the time. I couldn't just take off work, hop on a plane to go to another state just to meet with an artist/label/company to discuss something that potentially may or may not happen with my music. In my mind I couldn't justify jeopardizing my full time career in which my money was virtually guaranteed for the "lucky break" or "potential" of the big pay off in music.
I don't think people hear this side of the story often enough and I feel that if more artists were able to overcome some of these issues that I just mentioned that many more would see the success that their music deserves.