Well, "opportunity" is in the eye of the beholder I think.
After getting an undergraduate degree in photography, I made about $9,000 a year officially when I was in my twenties. (Plus a few extra dollars unofficially from bike racing, which you can imagine was quite lucrative ... I had a $500 car with a $2,500 bike in the trunk ...)
Eventually life catches up with you though, and you need a car, and health insurance, and steady meals, etc. As you become more "middle class" and acquire more professional skills, you start to realize what is called the "opportunity cost" of your time. That is, how much you could be making with all of the other, potentially competing career/life opportuinities.
With the new digital skills required in photography, you can't help but look at the types of salaries that folks with similar computer/digital workflow skills are earning (at least prior to the last few years.) People just graduating from school with a bachelor degree, with basic computer, design, and web skills, could easily start out with a salary of $60,000 a year or more.
At an average of 2000 hours per year, that comes to about $30 an hour, guarenteed, day after day. As a freelancer, with unpaid "overhead" costs - email time, meetings, initial customer contact, negotiations, etc. that isn't directly compensated, you need to make at least $60 an hour to match that starting salary. (Different billing basis for creative, but ...)
So with maybe 10-15 years of experience, with solid project management, interpersonal, and other organizational skills, it was possible to make $100K to $200K a year in "complimentary" fields, along with health insurance, retirement, etc., using the same basic skill sets. There are lots of different "chimneys" in business and photography, but there aren't many purely creative photography jobs that were paying that type of equivent wages, and of course no real security to most of them.
So as you get to be middle aged, and maybe have children and more resposnisiblity, there is a real question of what would be ideal vs. what needs to be done now to make a living, at least for a while. Just like a lot of teachers might rather be doing more personal photography work and teaching less, but at least they have a career aligned with the profession of their choice.
But that is the context within which you need to evaluate so-called "opportiunities." I know some photo jobs would barely cover the rental fees for the photo equipment (that I owned) that I would bring to a job. It got to make more sense to just send the equipment out on a rental than to actually go out myself. And for an opportunity to match the equivalent hourly wage of some competing jobs - like helping to create a custom, proprietary, multi-million dollar digital asset management system - plus the capital costs of the equipment, etc. Well, a lot of so called "opportunities" don't even come close to what you can earn with the same skills.
Sorry, a bit rambling. I have been thinking about this in general since your first post in this sub-forum Fred. Full disclosure, I haven't been working for 3 years since I closed my studio due to chronic pain. But I am thinking about my options going forward, I'll need to have another career to get me to "retirement" maybe 10-15 years down the road.....
I am thinking, too,, that maybe we need to ask for a $5,000 "retainer" up front from clients to save wasted time with all of these folks that think $200 is a lot of money ... That barely covers the up front e-mails and phone calss top figure out what a job might entail ...